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Live Review: The Last Dinner Party

The Fleece, Bristol - 30/01/2024







“This is like Lana Del Rey at Glastonbury!” It’s Tuesday 31st January and we’re at Bristol’s The Fleece where The Last Dinner Party are half-way through their stellar headline set. Abigail Morris is laughing now, desperately trying to keep spirits high, improvising her way through a break in the setlist. She’s referring to the American singer-songwriter, Lana Del Rey, who incorporates the same melodrama and glamour into her music, headline slot at the festival last year where the plug was pulled mid-way through her set, and comparing it to the situation unfolding; after a particularly passionate rendition of Sinner, it appears the band have blown the power. 


The Last Dinner Party is fast-becoming everybody’s favourite band. 


Since releasing their debut single, Nothing Matters, in April of last year, the band have been touring relentlessly and gearing up to release their debut album, Prelude To Ecstasy, the former dropping three days after their rescheduled Bristol headliner.


Whilst they found their fanbase fast, this didn’t stop The Last Dinner Party falling victim to the classic industry plant and nepo-baby allegations, alluding to their emergence as a fully-fledged outfit and subsequent fast descent. But the moment the band take to the stage, it becomes extremely evident why they’re so popular.


Maybe one of the most unique elements of the band’s live shows is their style and image. Coming onstage in coquettish outfits accompanied by then unreleased eponymous track, Prelude To Ecstasy, an entirely instrumental number, the drama and theatrics of the next hour are introduced. Everyone in the crowd is completely up for the fun associated with the band, singing along word for word for yet to be released tunes, flailing their arms around and singing back with such energy and passion to match that of the band.


It’s worth noting that every show on this tour, the band have set a theme for each city, encouraging attendees to dress up with the band. Tonight’s is ‘Greek myths & legends’ a prompt which sees long, flowing garments, extravagant headpieces and soft colours.



Singles such as the theatrical Caesar On A TV Screen and My Lady Of Mercy receive the biggest response from the audience, inviting them to scream the words and move recklessly with the band, whilst unreleased tracks mostly offer up a  moment to really take in the pure talent amongst the band. Notably, Beautiful Boy is a number where the band harmonise altogether almost a Capella, creating a holy soundscape completed by a flute solo from Emily. Similarly, Gjuha, a track led by keyboardist, Aurora, exploring her guilt for not knowing her mother tongue very well, relies on the other band member’s vocals as instruments in their own rights.


For the most part, Abigail dances around the stage, the skirt of her dress free flowing with her movements as she twirls around, hangs from her fellow bandmates and makes full use of the venue’s structural posts, wrapping herself around them and leaning into the front rows. During On Your Side, one of the sadder but most dramatic tracks released by the band, she leans into the front row, extending her hand and holding onto members of the crowd. It’s unlikely we’ll be seeing The Last Dinner Party in a venue as small as this again.


Following the aforementioned technical difficulties occurring all in the name of rock n roll, it’s a rush to get the set finished as the instruments regain power one by one. Guitarist, Lizzie, suggests the band just play what they can and have the crowd help them out with an a cappella version of Nothing Matters. There’s a moment of quiet discussion onstage, then a pact is made with the crowd they’ll sing every word.


And that is exactly what they do.


The Last Dinner Party’s show in Bristol is an ethereal showcase of raw talent paired with entertainment and uniquely aesthetically pleasing outfits, proving them to be deserving of every last ounce of success they are receiving right now. It doesn’t look like it’ll be long until they’re likening themselves to Lana Del Rey but in all seriousness this time…





KATIE HILLIER

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