At the turn of the year, The Last Dinner Party was little more than a new name being shared amongst those that had caught them live. Great songs, strong aesthetic. Having spent much of 2022 writing those songs, road-testing them, and then taking them into the studio, it wasn't until April when the band released the instantly more-ish, dark guitar-pop of Nothing Matters that seemingly everyone had now formed an opinion on them. It was an introduction that took the online world by storm, and yet behind all the excitement and narrative was a fantastically confident indie-rock song by a band doing it the old-fashioned way, out on the road.
Following a heady first-on performance to a packed crowd at the new Woodsies tent at Glastonbury, The Last Dinner Party released Sinner, another gloriously infectious, leftfield pop song that fuelled the fully-formed zeitgeist and set the band up for a Summer that replicated that success of Glastonbury with uncomfortably packed tents ensuing at the likes of Green Man, Reading & Leeds, Latitude and End of the Road (interspersed with support slots to the likes of Florence & The Machine, Lana Del Rey and First Aid Kit). It was a breakthrough summer for one of the most talked about new British acts in years, delivering on all that early promise emphatically.
Concentrating on their own headline shows, the band skipped confidently from venue to venue, playing to bigger rooms and on wider stages. Shows sold out and shows were upgraded. In London alone, the band have moved from sell-out dates at Moth Club to Camden Assembly, Oslo to two nights at EartH, and now move on to the 3000 capacity Roundhouse on the eve of album release (remaining tickets on sale now). Crucially, it's not just London where the band finds its early fans, but right across the UK and into America too, with all five debut shows selling out several weeks in advance.
The band often set a themed dress code for the shows, with many fans relishing the task of rising to the request and donning their finery for a night with their new heroes.
But this is no case of style over substance. The recent release of their third single, My Lady of Mercy, an almost gothic, haunting rock song, and now with this atmospheric and anthemic ballad, On Your Side, the band's songwriting is testament to all the buzz and excitement already accumulated. As it should be. Rather than wilt under the spotlight, they've arguably become a tighter, stronger unit because of it.
Prelude to Ecstasy is both the closing of that introductory chapter and the opening of the next. The Last Dinner Party? Believe the hype.
1. Prelude to Ecstasy
2. Burn Alive
3. Cesar on a TV Screen
4. The Feminine Urge
5. On Your Side
6. Beautiful Boy
9. My Lady of Mercy
10. Portrait of a Dead Girl
11. Nothing Matters