The Cultural Connection: The Last Dinner Party

Photo by Tom Marshak

The London-based band, The Last Dinner Party, does things differently in the world of music. The five members met in university and stuck together to release their hit-debut single, “Nothing Matters”. Their live shows are like a mix of an opera night and a spooky folk story and instead of trying to be famous online, they focus on their live shows great and building a community. Having just announced their debut album “Prelude To Ecstasy”, due to be released in February next year, the band has just scratched the surface of their success.

We caught up with the band as part of our #TheCulturalConnection-series to chat about their approach to music and how each member contributes.

KALTBLUT: You’re a band of five members. Can you walk me through your production/ writing process and what unique “flavours” each of you bring to the table?

TLDP: We love to experiment with our writing process – often it begins with one member bringing forward an idea to the rest of the band. For example, “Nothing Matters” began as a slower, ballad-like piano demo, but has taken on a completely new musical identity as a bombastic, joyful rock song.

I think a strength of ours lies in the breadth of our music tastes and individual histories with music. Our lead guitarist Emily studied jazz guitar at Guildhall and played Brian May in an all-women Queen tribute band which has massively informed her playing in this band and contributes to the unique musicality of her solos. Our keys player and vocalist @rora_auror studied composition at uni and has scored all the orchestral arrangements on the album.

The cinematic feel of classical music is such a vital and precious part of the sonic world of this album – it’s such a blessing to be able to work closely with classical players in a way made possible only by Aurora’s knowledge and skill in classical composition.

KALTBLUT: You’ve now released your fourth single after your acclaimed debut “Nothing Matters”. How does it feel releasing music into such a fast-paced world?

TLDP: It’s a really exciting time to release music. It feels like the world is hungry for live music, and we wanted the energy of live shows to be at the heart of all our recorded music. When we recorded the album with James Ford, we began by playing the whole album together live before going in with any production and that created a sonic foundation that feels very alive and urgent.

KALTBLUT: Having just released four tracks now but played shows in big cities, as well as big festivals, such as Glastonbury – Does it give you more or less freedom to play songs that haven’t been released yet?

TLDP: It’s still so surreal to have people singing our lyrics back to us and with each new release more of the songs in the set are becoming a real moment of connection and shared experience with the audience, which is really what we set out to create with this band. Recently we’ve begun playing even newer songs which is so much fun! After playing the album tracks for a couple of years now, it’s a new challenge to play songs which are still evolving. It feels very freeing to play new material and exciting to share our ongoing growth as a band with our audiences.

Photo by Cal McIntyre

KALTBLUT: How has your stage-performance and presence changed and evolved since?

TLDP: @abigaille___ has always been a phenomenal frontwoman to share a stage with, but as we begin to play bigger venues with bigger stages, her flamboyance and powerful stage presence is only growing. And I think that growth goes for all of us – we’ve all had massive development in our confidence on stage which comes with practice, but also by feeding off the energy of increasingly excited, interactive audiences.

KALTBLUT: As well as a unique sound, you also have a unique sense of style, I’d say. How important is fashion for you?

TLDP: Very. We’ve always wanted the visual element of our live shows – our styling – to be just as considered and intentional as the music. Also, we just love dressing up! Fashion is such a powerful tool of self-expression, and we hope everyone who comes to our shows feels empowered to come as their biggest, boldest selves.

KALTBLUT: Music – especially indie or rock music – is heavily male dominated. Have you felt a change since you entered the industry, or are there still the same hurdles that have since been called out by other artists?

TLDP: We haven’t been in the industry very long at all, so I can’t comment on any change, but of course it is still a majority men-led industry. We are very lucky to work with and alongside so many amazing women and gender-queer people especially in the creative side of the job and that is always a joy.

KALTBLUT: How would you describe the genre of your music?

TLDP: Eclectic, theatrical, art-pop-rock !

“Prelude To Ecstasy” Cover

Follow @thelastdinnerparty on Instagram and pre-order their debut album “Prelude to Ecstasy”, out 2nd February 2024, here.

Cover photo by @tommarshak

You can revisit all Cultural Connection interviews at #TheCulturalConnection here.