Confidence Man is an Australian electro-pop band formed in 2016. The group is made up of four members: Janet Planet (real name Grace Stephenson), Sugar Bones (real name Aidan Moore), Clarence McGuffie, and Reggie Goodchild and they have been very busy providing music and a style that wows their fans. On the cover of their debut album, and on stage, two of the four members wear veils to hide their identity. This gives the band a mysterious artistic quality at first glance. The reason the band attempted to hide the identity of Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild from the initial appearance of the band is to keep Confidence Man from being viewed as a side project, as both members were initially a part of a different musical group.
Due to the anonymity of McGuffie and Goodchild, Janet Planet and Sugar Bones are the face of the band. McGuffie and Goodchild were already acquainted with one another when they were happen to cross paths with Janet Planet. Planet was a club owner in Brisbane, and her high energy and dance initially caught their creative eye. They soon began to collaborate.
The band first formed out of sheer fun, yet they soon realized that while they were busy playing around with different sounds and beats that they were actually making good music that they could continue to build on. So, that’s just what they did.
The last member to join the quartet was Sugar Bones. Born out of Brisbane’s psych rock scene Janet Planet (Grace Stephenson) and Sugar Bones (Aidan Moore) were both in Moses Gun Collective although the group allegedly ‘found’ him cleaning pools, and “With abs like that he had to be in a band,” Planet stated in a text message interview with Troy Mutton last year. Each member has great talent which they bring to the group, but they all have one key characteristic in common, confidence.
The group didn’t waste much time on their decision to relocate from Brisbane to Melbourne. The dance scene in Melbourne was considerably more receptive to their sound than the more conservative scene in Brisbane, and this made it an easy choice.
Soon after their move the group began touring and performing at Australian Music Festivals in the Summer of 2017. At the time, the band had o released their debut single ‘Boyfriend’, and with only about 500 fans known on facebook – even they were surprised at how fast their popularity grew. Before the end of the summer they had reached a fan base in the UK, and they were selling out shows in Australia and Europe.
The group attributes most of their success to word of mouth. Talk of the band quickly spread like wildfire, which led to sell outs on their first tour. This isn’t surprising as the band is a real riot to see live and everyone wanted to attend their high energy performances. They incorporate this into the writing of their lyrics, as well. Can you think of a better way to write a party song than to write it while throwing a party? Janet Planet has revealed in an interview with Nadia Younes that, [the group] went away on a trip to somewhere in Victoria and stayed in this house that had a hot tub, [they] spent two weeks there just partying really hard and we didn’t get that much done but lots of little bits done, which are [found] all through the album.”
In 2018 they released their first album that they titled Confident Music for Confident People with Heavely Records. The Record company is also known for working with artists including Manic Street Preachers, Saint Etienne, Beth Orton, and more. Confident Music for Confident People included several of their most successful songs including ‘Out The Window’, ‘Boyfriend’, and ‘Better Sit Down Boy’. Since it’s release the band has continued to gain momentum and success.
Their show at Glastonbury is often remarked to be one of their most memorable yet.
Still a little surprised by their quick success, the show that was suppose to be small ended up being a great party. The stage was so small that the drum kit barely set on stage and at one point it even fell off. By the end of the show guest were helping to hold Clarence up so that he could continue to drum. To challenge things even more, Sugar had sprained his ankle at a previous show so he was limping around the stage, dancing. The show went on without a hitch and it was still considered a major success.
Planet has declared in several interviews that Confidence Man gets a lot of inspiration from several 90’s artist including Aqua, Groove Armada, Fatboy Slim, and as far back as The Talking Heads who released their first album in 1977. Confidence Man shows that same passion for making fun music to let loose and let go. Their music is a fresh mix of Trance Dance and upbeat pop beats. Janet Planet and Sugar Bones bring their own individual talents to the group with their fun lyrics and vocal talents. With Reggie Goodchild controlling the synthesizer and Clarence McGuffie on drums the band creates a really fun vibe that continues to attract fans.
In 2018 in a genius move they enlisted Andrew Weatherall, who produced Primal Scream’s Screamadelica and was a regular DJ at Manchester’s legendary Hacienda club, for fabulous remixes of “Out the Window” and Bubblegum”.
2019 already has a lot in the works for the group. Their Summer is chalk full of tour dates beginning with stops in the U.S. before leaping back over the pond to the U.K.. Their Summer tour will also include performances in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, and of course their home land; Australia. Since the band formed mostly on the basis that they enjoyed making music together and playing around live at local club it is just natural for them to put on an awesome performance. Tickets are expected to sell fast. It is still unclear if 2019 will bring us a new album from Confidence Man, but they don’t show any sign of slowing down.
The band continues to wow the audience with fun, upbeat hits. When asked to describe the band and the music that they are making together, Sugar Bones says it best, “We’re obviously pretty confident, and real confidence knows no bounds. I don’t think there’s any end to the ambition really. Janet Planet for President. She could run on the slogan ‘I’m The Best’.”