wed 21/02/2024

Album: The Last Dinner Party - Prelude to Ecstasy | reviews, news & interviews

Album: The Last Dinner Party - Prelude to Ecstasy

Album: The Last Dinner Party - Prelude to Ecstasy

Absolutely audacious debut that will definitely get under your skin

The time of their lives: new group The Last Dinner Party have all the right people on their teamThe costumes pale into insignificance

Well this is something different. Goth pop teetering on the verge of histrionics but redeeming itself with some super-catchy melodies, expert musicianship and one hell of a lead singer.

The Last Dinner Party's influences clearly include Queen, Kate Bush, Love, Sparks, Roxy Music, Abba, Florence + The Machine (who told them they’d won BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2024) and much more yet are that most overused of words – unique.

For such a young group (they only formed in 2021), they’ve got all the right people on their team. James Ford produces, they’re signed to Island and they’ve supported the Rolling Stones (at the bottom of a very long list during a day-long festival, but still...) That’s resulted in unsubstantiated rumours of nepotism. Whatever the story, this five-piece are clearly very talented musicians – one guitarist and the keyboard player having graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (some of the guitar riffs rival the greats, seriously).

It’s bombastic, melodramatic, opulent, cinematic – and it really works. Last year’s hugely popular single “Nothing Matters” sets the tone as have the subsequent releases – "Sinner", My Lady of Mercy, On Your Side and Caesar on a TV Screen. The album begins with their very own one-and-a-half-minute prelude – an classically-themed instrumental that lets you know they’re taking no prisoners and absolutely won’t apologise for going large.

Some of the lyrics do tread dangerously close to sixth-form poetry (“There is candle wax melting in my veins,” in "Burn Alive"; “je ne veux pas penser” in the otherwise excellent pop romp, "Caesar on a TV Screen"). And there’s more than a hint that they’ve imbibed the Sisters of Mercy’s entire canon (“This blood on my face/Where your teeth sunk in” in "On Your Side", “So turn and face me/Turn to the altar of lust” in "Sinner"). But, given that there’s nothing new in the world, they’ve made a triumphant stab at creating a sound that’s truly remarkable.

Best of all, they’re clearly having the time of their lives and that’s a joy to witness. It will be fascinating to see what develops from this hugely promising start.

They’re taking no prisoners and absolutely won’t apologise for going large


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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