Impact’s Izzy Morris paid a visit to Nottingham’s Bodega to catch The Last Dinner Party’s sold-out headline show, amidst a hectic schedule of festival sets.
I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever seen a queue that long at the doors at Bodega – a string of music fans stretched all the way around the corner of the Thurland Arms. The queue was quite eclectic too, compared to what I’m used to in Nottingham. You did, as always, have your ‘6 Music Dads’ ready with their tickets (a term now popularised through the merch of Self Esteem), but there was also a collection of younger fans who appeared to have walked right out of the pages of Pride and Prejudice, decked in lace, pearls and frills. Regardless, though, of whether or not they were in a band shirt and jeans or vintage finery, there was a universal feeling of excitement, and probably more than anything, a sense of expectation.
Their set left me wanting more, after enjoying their dynamic storytelling, their tight cohesion as a band and their creative use of instrumentation
The Last Dinner Party have managed to drum up a whole host of excitement online with just two singles available on streaming services. These singles, while absolutely fantastic, are not the root cause of all this commotion however – it’s the rave reviews they’ve been receiving from fans at their gigs that have been getting everyone so excited about what’s to come for the Brixton-based band. For a lot of the people attending that night, they were itching to find out if they were truly in for the mind-blowing experience the internet had been suggesting.
But before the main event, we were treated to a lovely aperitif in the form of Slow Country, a band that very quickly piqued my interest. Another band with a focus on live over releases, their set left me wanting more, after enjoying their dynamic storytelling, their tight cohesion as a band and their creative use of instrumentation, using harmonicas, maracas and tambourines to add some interesting flavours to the music. They also invited a guest vocalist for one of their tracks, Jasmin Coe, who was impressed with her luscious aspirant tone.
They danced between upbeat foot-tappers and beautifully-crafted ballads, that felt genuine, vulnerable and incredibly well fleshed-out. There’s really something special there with this Manchester sextet, and their journey is only just beginning.
They uniquely blend theatre, art, poetry and music to craft such a unique experience
The room was already packed for Slow Country, so it wasn’t long until the room was filled with guests awaiting The Last Dinner Party. Hungry whisperings awaited the arrival of our evening entertainment, who were eventually called to the stage by the calling of an orchestra – perfectly fitting walk-on music for this Gregorian-inspired quintet.
Those aforementioned expectations were surpassed in just one song – the unreleased track Burn Alive. They uniquely blend theatre, art, poetry and music to craft such a unique experience. The track’s glittery synths from keyboardist Aurora Nishevci sprinkle a dose of magic into the first track, while vocalist Abigail Morris commands the audience into the palm of her hand. Her presence on stage mirrors that of some of the legends they’ve had the chance to support in Hyde Park or on tour, which left me completely in awe.
All the rumours are true – the best way to experience the phenomenon that is The Last Dinner Party is to get a seat at the table, in the flesh and allow the band to sell it to you
Every single word that left her mouth was meant. She performed with intention, with heart and with a ferocity that I admire so very much. It was not a stage show, not quite – that feeling of expression and authenticity from that DIY band atmosphere was still very much felt. However, that marriage between performance and the attentive portrayal of emotions and ideas is perhaps what makes The Last Dinner Party so special. I’m sure when these tracks do make it onto an album, we will eat them up and cherish them greatly, but all the rumours are true – the best way to experience the phenomenon that is The Last Dinner Party is to get a seat at the table, in the flesh and allow the band to sell it to you. And my God, they did.
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