The ‘surreal’ UK surprise for pop act Confidence Man

The Irish and British rock stars became acquainted with Confidence Man’s Janet Planet and Sugar Bones during the Joshua Tree tour in 2019 when they crossed paths on a night out after one of the Melbourne shows.The Australian musicians invited them over for a meal at their home the next night. The dinner party got loud and loose thanks to tequila and became a legendary viral tale.Gallagher shared with the BBC how an irate neighbour complained about the noise at 2am but ended up happy with a couple of photos with the rock gods who went out to the front yard to placate him.So when borders opened and live music returned, Gallagher invited Confidence Man to support him on his recent UK summer tour alongside their own headline shows. When the band arrived in Dublin in mid June, they caught up with their old U2 mate.“It’s pretty surreal,” Planet says.“I feel like Edge is our boy now, he had us over for a home-cooked meal when we were in Dublin and his wife Morleigh is giving me her old designer suit and I’m like ‘I can’t take that!’”The UK visit culminated with their electric performance at the marquee Glastonbury festival. Confidence Man, which also features musicians Reggie Goodchild and Clarence McGuffie, have been on a steady trajectory since forming in Brisbane in 2016, winning fans not only in Australia but throughout Europe with their infectiously poppy 2018 debut album Confident Music for Confident People.Their energetic live performances, bolstered by Planet and Bones’ love of costumes, choreography and “magic tricks” landed them scene-stealing slots on all the big Australian festivals and their first invite to “Glasto” in 2017 where they played several shows on outlying stages.Returning in 2022 armed with a raft of new party starters from their second album Tilt, Confidence Man were upgraded to the British festival’s Park stage.Tens of thousands of punters, some already fans, many discovering the band for the first time, spread across the field in an bouncing, dancing mass. Millions more watched the performance broadcast live by the BBC.Among those discovering Confidence Man from that gig were influential tastemakers such as DJ Pete Tong, who started flogging the single Holiday on BBC One, and now the Confidence Man buzz has become such a noise, they have added an unexpected return to the UK for more shows to their 2022 schedule.As they prepare to take their Tilt tour around Australia this month – the album reached No. 7 on the ARIA charts on its release in April – they are excited and relieved in equal measure to find their fanbase is still growing after the two years of pandemic border closures and shutdown of live gigs which stalled their trajectory.Even though a raft of catchy pop singles from the 2016 debut Boyfriend (Repeat) to the most recent Luvin U Is Easy have copped a flogging on Triple J, there is still work to be done to take them to a mainstream audience.Despite Australian artists being very good at pop music, Confidence Man remain outliers when it comes to the gatekeepers at local radio and streaming platforms.Planet and Bones wonder if it is because their sound is influenced by the British pop that inspired them as kids.“That is a big part of Australian music, that it is quite connected to the UK, and with us, from the start we were regarded as a bit weird,” Bones says.“Yeah, we were sort of outliers but we’ve sort of always enjoyed that and once we got our heads around that, we decided to push it even further, to do whatever we want because the rules don’t apply to us. We’re having a great time just pushing the boat out.”And when they say they’re pushing the boat out, they mean it literally.The latest music video for Luvin U Is Easy suggests they are already mega pop stars as the band members cavort on an expensive cruiser when they’re not spinning around the boat on jetskis.Their action scenes look effortless but the reality was one member ended up in hospital.“Clarence actually broke his foot on the jetski and we had to get our manager to fill in for the rest of the film clip so it definitely was not relaxing,” Planet says.“It was terrible, it was right at the start of the day and eight days before the European tour started. No one is going to insure us, we’re literally the most dangerous people of all time.”Confidence Man. Enmore Theatre, Sydney, August 5; Northcote Theatre, Melbourne, August 6, Darwin Festival, August 18, Metropolis, Perth, August 20; Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, August 26. Tickets confidenceman.com.aukathtips

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