The Last Dinner Party are in a strong position for No.1 with their debut this week.
The theatrical guitar band’s album, Prelude To Ecstasy (Island), was at No.1 in the midweeks with sales of 23,583 up to the end of Sunday (February 4), including an impressive 20,856 physical units. Island Records could do the chart double with Noah Kahan in the singles chart.
The Last Dinner Party are Music Week’s cover stars for this month, following their huge impact, with a charting single and double victory in the BRITs Rising Star category and BBC Sound Of 2024 poll.
“There’s the aesthetic and strings and everything, but at the end of the day, they are a guitar band,” said manager Tara Richardson of Q Prime. “And that’s what we’re really good at as a management company. Whereas other labels were going more pop, Island weren’t. They were the only one going on the guitar-band trajectory so they were always top of my list. And everybody just clicked and got on really well.”
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Island president Louis Bloom told Music Week, recalling the first time he saw the band play live at London’s XOYO back in April 2022. “And it’s rare to have that total conviction that when you see something so unique and fully formed, you know you have to do everything you can to sign them. I’ve been around enough to have missed – and won – those deals and you just have that feeling when you’re in the room with something magical. And that’s what I felt.”
Island MD Nicola Spokes felt much the same way about The Last Dinner Party.
“Seeing Abi, Georgia, Lizzie, Aurora and Emily on stage was a really powerful, visceral experience for me,” she told Music Week. “All throughout my career, working across the spectrum of indie and alternative, so many of the bands I have watched and worked with have been majority male. To see this female and non-binary band stood before me on stage, all such incredible musicians, performers and individual characters… They just blew me away.
“Their visual world was already so clear, the songs so unique lyrically and compositionally, and there were already fans in the crowd dressing in costume like them. It felt like they were forging a new musical and visual movement of romanticism, decadence, theatricality – like nothing I’d ever seen or experienced before.”
The band worked with James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Blur) on their album. Their debut single, Nothing Matters, is already a hit and is pushing for a Top 20 place this week.
“It was about making sure that the first single and the video totally told the story,” said Bloom. “If you can get that right, there’s a confidence to that and it’s like they’ve come out of nowhere. It reminds me of how we used to launch acts 10 years ago, so it actually feels really unique now, rather than just drip-feeding songs and trying to build. We just went, ‘Here it is,’ and for the industry and the fans, it’s that thing of, ‘Where the fuck has this come from?’”
The Last Dinner Party have laughed off baseless rumours that they were created by a music industry svengali (they actually met at university freshers’ week).
“It was a load of rubbish,” said Bloom. “Nothing this original and brilliant can be constructed by any label – if it was that easy, we’d all be doing it.”
“It didn’t really bother them – we were just laughing about it,” added Richardson. “It’s all character building, but they didn’t really need it. They’re very level-headed. What really angered me was one personal attack from an established female music journalist. That completely perplexed me. We all, as women, are striving to bring more women in, push women further and have festival headliners. So that felt very underhand.”
Ahead of the BRIT Awards next month, Richardson told Music Week she’s “very happy to see a guitar band winning at the BRITs” following their Rising Star triumph.
Bloom is equally thrilled with all the recognition and says he is “beyond happy” for the five-piece.
“They are completely unique, an incredible creative force who deserve to stand next to the greats in music history,” he said. “I have no doubt that these will be the first of many accolades that the band will receive throughout their career.”
Subscribers can read our interview with The Last Dinner Party here.
PHOTO: CAL MCINTYRE