We Catch Up With the Last Dinner Party Ahead of Their Headline Show at the Bodega

Photos: Charles Gall
Interview: Gemma Cockrell
Saturday 15 July 2023
reading time: min, words

Ahead of The Last Dinner Party's headline show at The Bodega later this month, we catch up with vocalist Abigail Morris, bassist Georgia Davies, and backing vocalist Lizzie Mayland to find out how the band have managed to take the internet by storm with only one single to their name…

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Everyone has heard of you following the release of your debut single Nothing Matters, but how did you first meet? The internet was quick to accuse you of being an ‘industry plant’...
Lizzie: It’s all true! We were made in a lab!
Georgia: My dad is the president of music! No, the three of us actually met in freshers' week at King's College London. It's not a particularly romantic or interesting origin story.
Lizzie: I dropped out in the end...
Georgia: We had a difficult start with Covid but we practised loads and refined our live show. We took on everything we got offered and didn't stop!

How did your sound come together during this time?
Abigail: David Bowie, Queen, Kate Bush, Sparks, Lana Del Rey, jazz music...
Georgia: We all have pretty different backgrounds, musically speaking. Aurora (Nischevi, keys) is a composer, and Emily (Roberts, lead guitar) is a jazz musician. We all have different family upbringings and relationships with music as well so I think we all bring a unique perspective. I think that's why our record and live shows turned out the way they did. It's a broad scope of inspirations coming together.

How do you craft such a captivating live show without having any music released?
Abigail: From the beginning, we were adamant that was how we were going to do it. We focused on the live show and built everything outwards from that. It's appealing because you can see how much fun we're having and how joyful we are, and how much live music means to us. It's the foundation of our relationship as friends, going to gigs and seeing live music and being desperate to be part of it. We're fulfilling all our fantasies by doing it and it is where we have the most fun.
Lizzie: I think it allowed us to refine the parts of songs before we went into the studio and recorded the album. We tried out different stuff to a live audience and saw what felt good and what people started singing along to. 

How did Nothing Matters come together as a song?
Abigail: It started as an acoustic ballad that I wrote on the piano. It was half finished, and quite sombre. It wasn't this big, bombastic tune - it was quite emotional. Then, I brought it in, and we turned it into this euphoric, horn-driven beast! I think, for me, it's the truest love song on the album. I find it hard to write about good relationships or things that make me happy. It's easier to write about turmoil. But I wrote it about my boyfriend at the time, to capture the feeling of complete devotion and passion.

Every song is different but in terms of ethos it's the same - maximalism is the key word

Is it representative of what's to come from the rest of the album?
Abigail: Sonically, it's actually very different from the rest of the album. Every song is different but in terms of ethos it's the same - maximalism is the key word. We've got a huge variety of stuff on the album: an industrial Nine Inch Nails kind of thing, a five-part harmony, an Albanian song...
Georgia: Guitar solos are coming back, in a big way!

How has signing to a record label helped the album come together?
Lizzie: Most of the record was already written beforehand. We did go on to write more but it gave us the confidence that we had an album ready to go and we didn't have to match anyone's expectations based on the back of one or two tracks that the label loved - we already had quite a few tracks they loved.
Georgia: There wasn't the unbearable weight of a TikTok song that had gone viral, which happens to a lot of artists. We already had a back catalogue we were happy and proud of. We're confident in our vision and what we want to do, we've learnt to assert ourselves. The label hooked us up with James Ford to produce the record, so that's the dream come true!

You'll be coming to The Bodega later this month, what are you expecting from your headline tour?
Lizzie: I've been through Nottingham on the train loads of times, but I've never actually been!
Abigail: Nottingham is unchartered territory for us. But it's exciting to know that everyone will be there to see us - that's still unusual to us. We still haven't got our heads round the fact that we've got fans, or people outside London who want to see us. We haven't become used to it, but it's really cool to know that people will be there to see us.

The Last Dinner Party play at The Bodega on Sat 22 July 2023


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