THE LAST DINNER PARTY – RESIDENT, BRIGHTON 5.2.24
The Last Dinner Party are no stranger to Brighton having played here before The Hope & Ruin in March 2022, at The Prince Albert in June 2022, at Patterns during the ‘Mutations Festival’ in November 2022 (Review included HERE), then a headline show at The Green Door Store in March 2023 (Review HERE) and most recently they played ‘The Great Escape’ at Chalk in May 2023 (Review included HERE). Surely there are not many more venues for them to tick off; I suspect it would be the Dome or Brighton Centre next time around, especially as they were also one of the support acts for The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, London shows (Review HERE).
After recent appearances on Jools Holland, Graham Norton and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert in America, big venues such as the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo have been lined for their recently announced Autumn tour, so to have them come for such an intimate show at Resident Music really is a pure treat, just how do Resident keep on pulling these brilliant artists out of their hat I don’t know, but I sure am glad they do and long may it continue.
I was lucky enough to catch The Last Dinner Party’s show at Chalk last May and that was packed out to capacity, I foolishly left the front row and had zero chance of getting back once they were on stage, they were brilliant then, but 10 months on from what I have seen, they have now finely honed their act to pure excellence, these past couple of years or relentless touring really have paid dividends for them.
Consider they only formed 3 years ago, had signed to a big label, Island Records prior to their first single, then in December 2023 they won the Rising Star Brit Award, and then they won the BBC New sound 2024 poll. I think we can confidently say the trajectory is up, up, up for them. Their debut album ‘Prelude To Ecstasy’ was only released last Friday, it will be exciting to see where it will place in this coming week’s album chart, considering their TV performances, plenty of radio airplay and sold out show last week at the Roundhouse, London, I would like to think it is going to be very high indeed.
Tonight’s in-store performance sold out very quickly, in fact it has been so popular that Resident had forewarned ticket holders that unless they had already specified any +1’s or under 14s there will be no room on the night now to bring anyone extra. I was keen on not repeating my experience at the Sprints show in January (Review HERE) and being stuck right at the back so I made sure I got down nice and early, but even at 17:30pm the queue had already started and by the time we were let in at approximately 18:45pm it had already stretched out of Kensington Gardens and on to North Road, I was very glad I got there early.
Prior to the band coming out, I noticed there were no drums and the instrument set up was all closely packed along the front of the counter with the small raised platform home to chairs. Could we be in for something a little bit calmer and different tonight?
Abigail welcomed the tightly packed crowd, “Hello, this is really weird, oh my god, we’ve never been so close to the audience, we’ve never done one of these before, so thank you for being the first to witness the first ever acoustic show of TLDP, thanks for coming, here’s the first one” She was not wrong, I’ve always wondered how the artists and bands feel in Resident seeing literally the whites of the people’s eyes less than a metre from them, it’s not like Resident is dimly lit, but it certainly brings a real uniqueness to both the audience and band, it is a wonderful thing to experience and as bands get grow in popularity things like this will become a far rarer occurrence.
‘On Your Side’ was the first song played, with the acoustic guitars and keyboard, it really had a far softer feel compared to the album version. Absolutely beautifully sung by Abigail and ending with Aurora’s shimmering keyboard work, it was a fine start to the evening.
“I am going to try and get used to this, I keep closing my eyes like this and opening them and going aaargh” Abigail said putting her hands over the eyes then looking out in shock, she laughed “this is very close, it’s nice, it’s very sweet, thanks for coming, thanks for listening and buying the album, this next one is about the Roman Empire” There were a few giggles from Abigail and the band during the song as they adjusted to singing in ‘Caesar On A TV Screen’ such an acoustic and different way.
As if Abigail had read my mind she said “We haven’t done that one for a while, it’s really nice doing this, we get to have a new feeling to the songs and let them take on new lives”, she couldn’t have been more true, from performances I’ve seen, they are incredibly theatrical and animated, so much energy and power in the music and songs, just amazingly produced, tonight is just so much softer, gentle, there are no stage theatrics, just laughter and a fine group of musicians that really look and feel comfortable with playing live, there are no tricks needed here.
“Do you want to introduce the next one?” Abigail asked Lizzie. “Yes sure, it’s quite intimidating”, replied Lizzie, covering her eyes, what with being so close to the crowd. “Don’t look them in the eye, you’ll provoke them” mocked Abigail back.
Lizzie continued “This next one we are going to do ‘Sinner’ and we are going to do it with the original intro that didn’t make it on to the album” she laughed “because Aurora wrote Gjuha and I was like yep that’s a much better intro”. Abigail interjected “yes, so phones away don’t tape this”.
What a marvellous version of the song it was, stripped right back with very minimal keyboard, the acoustic guitar bringing the rhythm, but the song’s main focus was the voices and harmonising of the band all backing Lizzie, the studio version really explodes and feels lively, whereas this was just a hauntingly magical rendition of the song.
“We have one more, can you guess what it’s going to be?” Abigail joked with the crowd, full well knowing we all knew what it was going to be, “then we can sign records, shake hands, have a talk and have a chat”. But before that was to come Abigail announced it was Emily’s birthday and we all joined in with singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her, even a cake with candles appeared crowd surfing it’s way to the front and being passed through to Emily, “make a wish” Abigail asked Emily who after blowing out the candles was instructed to “put that down, tell us what are you plans for birthday, for your year Emily, what are your goals….?” “Playing Nothing Matters” Emily replied to much laughter. “Right answer” replied Abigail “thanks, we’ve been The Last Dinner Party and Goodnight”. After a little off stage antics aimed at Georgia “Are you ready?” mocked Abigail, “We are playing the hit Georgia! It starts with a G, count me in, 1, 2, 3, 4, yes that’s it, that the tune” our final tasty mouthful of this short dessert of a set came the hit ‘Nothing Matters’.
“That’s our allotted 15 minutes, thank you”, with that Abigail stood up, went to turn round and nearly fell backwards off the platform stage into the shelves, thankfully she just managed to steady herself and avoided getting the corner of the shelf unit in her back “I’ve only had two Guinness’s” she joked.
It was a short set, clocking in at 18 minutes, but what a treat it was, four utterly amazing acoustic courses from The last Dinner Party, a first for them and for us in turn, during the signing Abigail confirmed to me that this was indeed the first proper time they’d done an acoustic show/set rather than the odd song here and there. I would have loved for it to have been longer, I am not sure if it was planned to be that short of just cut short due to their hectic schedule they have going on promoting the album or possibly the later than usual start tonight here at Resident, nonetheless I am grateful and happy to have been there, these events at Resident are truly fantastic, often just for the price of the album, which was kindly signed by the whole band afterwards to boot. ‘Prelude To Ecstasy’? I do believe it was!
The Last Dinner Party’s UK September and October tour goes on general sale this Friday, but if you order the album you can get access to the pre-sale which starts on Wednesday. The rest of this week see’s the band visit various other record shops around the country, then it’s off to Europe, then America, in fact looking at their tour dates, there is no real break as they head all over the world playing…and the world very much looks to be their oyster.
The Last Dinner Party:
Abigail Morris – lead vocals.
Lizzie Mayland – vocals, guitar, flute.
Emily Roberts – lead guitar, mandolin, flute, vocals.
Georgia Davies – bass guitar, vocals.
Aurora Nishevci – keyboards, organ, piano, synthesizer, vocals.
The Last Dinner Party setlist: (from the debut album ‘Prelude To Ecstasy’)
‘On Your Side’
‘Caesar On A TV Screen’
‘Happy Birthday’ (sung to Emily)