Glastonbury Review: The Last Dinner Party

June 25, 2023

If you’re familiar with the name, you’re likely familiar with the charges levelled against them: “They’re industry plants”, “They’re nepo babies cashing in on contacts and privilege”, and the list goes on. You can hear the affront from here, creaking under its own manifested jealousy and supercilious fervour. In limited respects, however, you can understand, if not the suspicions, then a degree of the head scratching.

After all, to the casual observer The Last Dinner Party have arrived from nowhere forcefully striking the music industry on a wrecking ball of hype. A bit of research and self-education will reveal, however, that they have been diligently ploughing away on the capital’s live circuit for some time. They’ve been paying their dues the old-fashioned way. Even so, it’s still somewhat of a shock to discover that they have none other than the behemoth Q Prime artist management company behind them. A company that is home to fellow newcomers and small fry, Metallica.

Nevertheless, they open Glastonbury Day Two in the Woodsies tent (formerly “The John Peel Stage”) in the very slot that once housed Coldplay. The six-piece bound onstage looking like the Marie Celeste’s house band – collectively bedecked in medieval white tunics and sundry outfits, channelling a ghostly vibe and determinedly whimsical air. But there is musical bite to match the sight.

Lead singer, Abigail Morris looks at home in this setting. Her sonorous voice pierces through the tent and lifts these songs into special places. She may sashay nonchalantly, but she knows what she’s doing, manicuring her moves with intent. Plus, the songs are strikingly well-crafted, weaving flashes of disco into their eccentric Bat For Lashes-meets-Kate Bush palette – a combination present in such tunes as a penultimate Godzilla. Elsewhere, Sinner, their new single, is deliciously addictive, while Feminine Urge sounds like a Bond theme undercut with 80s pop.

As you might expect, they wrap things up with their calling card, Nothing Matters. It’s Abba-like intro giving way to something considerably less pastiche and more their own. It sounds like it’s been around for years. The band break into smiles and take a bow upon its close. This Glastonbury performance was quite the statement – a fine riposte to the narrow-minded charges that they’ve had to endure. Make no mistake, this is a dinner party is one you want to attend. And contrary to their moniker, this won’t be the last. It’s just the beginning.

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