The Last Dinner Party: the buzz is deserved

Royale, Boston, March 24, 2024

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

The buzz is on big time for The Last Dinner Party, a British all female/non-binary quintet on its first full-fledged tour of the U.S. And after a concise show that clicked in at 50 minutes, it's easy to see why.

It all starts with lead singer Abigail Morris. To say that Queen's Freddie Mercury was an influence would be a severe understatement. She's got the pipes, but when it comes to presenting the music, that in particular is where the Queen references is most obvious with Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine a very close second. A Kate Bush influence also is apparent, albeit less so.

The Last Dinner Party a lot of big sounding indie pop songs.

They have an eye catching look as well. Guitarist Emily Roberts looked she was straight out of a Renaissance era party. Phillips wore a corseted top with what looked like black pantyhose as pants with big-heeled black shoes.

Morris was like a feral cat out there, bounding about the stage with big moves, going to the edge of the crowd and making gestures galore with her hands and outstretched arms. Not to mention going down to the floor several times.

Sometimes, such antics might be overwhelming, but that wasn't the case. Morris was a captivating lead singer, filled with charisma galore.

She connected with the sold-out crowd on numerous occasions as well on the band's first visit to Boston (this is only their second time touring the U.S. after a very limited fall set of gigs). Morris displayed a sense of humor such as introducing "On Our Side": "we've reached a portion of the set and the album that we like to call the weeping hour. If you haven't had a chance to cry yet, now is the currently the time because you can't do any of that later. There's just dancing and sex. If I see you crying, you'll be kicked out." (Maybe there's a reason, the band's just released debut is entitled "Prelude to Ecstasy").

While Morris is the focal point, this is a band of five. The other four helped out on occasional backing vocals or harmonies. Keyboardist Aurora Nishveci took lead vocals on "Gjuha" (Albanian for "tongue."). Guitarist Lizzie Mayland also had a chance to take over on lead vocals as well.

With the conclusion of the final song "Nothing Matters," TLDP was met with rapturous applause from the overwhelmingly female crowd. The lights came up with no encore (despite the set list indicating that there would be a two-song encore). During comments near the end of the show, Morris said the band would be back "very soon."

Chances are they will soon enough to ride the acclaim because the show sold out weeks ago. More importantly, The Last Dinner Party showed that the hubbub was well deserved.

Queens, N.Y. artist Miss Grit opened with a very well-received half-hour stint of electronic music augmented by her guitar playing. Miss Grit, aka Margaret Dewey Sohn, played electric guitar and sang typically in a more ethereal way with electronics going with drums, bass and more. She created a lot of sound, especially with a very heavy bass at times.

Miss Grit could not be accused of being showy like the headliners. She was a low key presence, standing at the lip of the stage in front of a black curtain, which displayed typically various linear images to good effect.

Miss Grit proved to be a good counter to The Last Dinner Party, a compliment to both.

© Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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