sat 22/06/2024

The Last Dinner Party, SWG3, Glasgow review - affection and adulation for rising stars | reviews, news & interviews

The Last Dinner Party, SWG3, Glasgow review - affection and adulation for rising stars

The Last Dinner Party, SWG3, Glasgow review - affection and adulation for rising stars

The hotly tipped band spread a joyful mood at one of their largest gigs yet.

The Last Dinner Party, thankfully less mournful live

The first declaration of love for the Last Dinner Party arrived approximately one song into their set. “I love you too,” declared a delighted looking Abigail Morris, the band’s pirouetting frontwoman, in response, and the ensuing hour suggested outpourings of affection are just one of many reasons for Morris to be cheerful these days.

This show had been upgraded from the considerably smaller King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and yet filled up with ease, with a number of Glaswegians getting dressed up like Morris and her compatriots, whether in Gothic chic or Virgin Suicides esque dresses. Onstage keyboardist Aurora Nishevci caught the eye initially, given she appeared to be cosplaying as Little Red Riding Hood, and a playful theatricality runs through the band, particularly in the whirling Morris, a blur of movement.

At one stage she apologised for a brief delay due to her petticoat becoming undone, words you’d be unlikely to hear over at the Hard-Fi gig taking place elsewhere in the venue. In another instance she drily referred to the five-piece, here augmented with a drummer, as being industry plants, a reference to the tedious complaint that seems, with remarkable coincidence, to constantly be flung at new female bands.

Whether there’s any truth to that or not, in a live setting such debate becomes irrelevant, because this group have a clutch of songs that are emphatically connecting with people. There were howls of approval from the many younger women down the front when Morris declared early number “Feminine Urge” to be about female anger and the tune clattered in on a Ronettes style beat before delivering chunky power pop, while “On Your Side displayed haunting, sinister synths with slasher style precision.

There is, essentially, a lot going on with the songs, and with the band too, who all appear to be having a joyful time onstage. Bassist Georgia Davies, in particular, was living her best life, regularly going head to head with guitarist Lizzie Mayland and bouncing around. She wasn’t the only one moving when recent single “Sinner” kicked in, which sparked constant movement and a hefty sing-a-long. It was hard not to be drawn into the good vibes there, especially given the piercingly sharp solo from Emily Roberts.

Occasionally the group cram too much in, like Bowie meeting Kate Bush with Brian May chipping a guitar solo in for good measure. “Portrait of a Dead Girl” got some audience participation going but the melodramatic tone was overbearing, and “Beautiful Boy” came in a tad too bluntly, lacking the verve that the best pop possesses.

However their best songs do have considerable pizzazz. It was there in the handclap heavy opening of “My Lady of Mercy” which switched gears into thrashy rock, and in the harmonies of the brand new “Second Best”, underpinned by terrific guitar work from Roberts and Mayland. And, of course, it electrified the closing “Nothing Matters”, which sparked pogoing bodies and Lucia Fontaine from Scottish act Lucia and the Best Boys popping up for additional vocals alongside a now very sweaty but still moving Morris. Songs to give your heart to, indeed.

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