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The Last Dinner Party - Prelude to Ecstasy (Album Review)

Friday, 16 February 2024 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Cal McIntyre

‘Prelude to Ecstasy’ is a hugely exciting and precocious debut from some very talented musicians. Here the Last Dinner Party combine grand orchestral arrangements, chamber pop, and indie stylings with fantastic lyrical storytelling, justifying the band’s early hype and likely setting up their inclusion on plenty of year-end lists come winter. 

Stand out numbers include the early single Nothing Matters, an elegiac pop tune with the remarkable chorus: “And you can hold me like he held her / And I will fuck you like nothing matters.” It’s one part Florence Welch and one part Emerald Fennell, and is completely captivating. 

It will be sung at festivals across the continent this summer and also features one of the album’s prominent guitar solos, which are a bit of an endangered species in 2024.

There is also the excellent Caesar on a TV Screen, which lands somewhere between a David Lynch soundtrack and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

This is well-referenced, literary music and its video, directed by Harv Frost, wonderfully visualises a Wilderness Festival vibe, with a dash of artistic conservatory, alongside musical theatre performance and Shakespearean costume. The dressing up thing is relevant. The Last Dinner Party announce dress codes for their gigs — Victoriana, Brothers Grimm, and Velvet Goldmine among them. 

Indeed, such is the completeness of their artistic package — their ‘brand’ if you will — that the band have faced accusations of being an ‘industry plant’, essentially a group created to spec. Such talk carries with it more than a tinge of sexism and is essentially redundant  — this is a very, very good album that will likely translate into a terrific live experience. Just don’t forget your top hat.

The Last Dinner Party Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Mon March 04 2024 - HEBDEN BRIDGE Trades Club
Wed September 18 2024 - BELFAST Telegraph Building
Fri September 20 2024 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Sat September 21 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse
Mon September 23 2024 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Newcastle City Hall (O2 City Hall)
Tue September 24 2024 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Wed September 25 2024 - SHEFFIELD Octagon
Fri September 27 2024 - NORWICH LCR Norwich
Sat September 28 2024 - LINCOLN Engine Shed
Sun September 29 2024 - CARDIFF Tramshed
Tue October 01 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Wed October 02 2024 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City Nottingham
Fri October 04 2024 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Sat October 05 2024 - SOUTHAMPTON O2 Guildhall Southampton
Mon October 07 2024 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Tue October 08 2024 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Thu October 10 2024 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Fri October 11 2024 - MANCHESTER Victoria Warehouse
Sat October 12 2024 - LIVERPOOL Liverpool Su Mountford Hall
Mon October 14 2024 - CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange Cambridge
Wed October 16 2024 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Thu October 17 2024 - LONDON Eventim Apollo
Sat October 19 2024 - LONDON Eventim Apollo

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