“It's the natural knee jerk reaction for some people when they see someone young and successful and female…”: The Last Dinner Party on overcoming online trolls to make the year’s most hotly-anticipated debut album

The Last Dinner Party in 2023
(Image credit: Cal McIntyre)

It has been quite the ride for The Last Dinner Party since the London-based quintet released their debut single Nothing Matters in April last year. It was a song met with a lot of love for its Sparks-ish, indie playfulness and one that sent the five-piece on their way to stardom – their debut album, Prelude To Ecstasy, comes out next week and is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest breakthrough records. However, as is the way things go in the modern world, the curmudgeons had to get involved too. Not convinced that a Good Thing could possibly be a Good Thing, there was a naysayer pile on, accusing the five-piece of being an “industry plant”, or a supergroup of nepo babies, or a band who were having someone else write their songs for them because a group made up of five women who’d formed at university during lockdown armed with some of the most entertaining indie-rock anthems in years couldn’t have possibly written them themselves.

The band’s response to this made-up palava, written by bassist Georgia Davies, came via their Twitter/X account and it was swift and decisive. “This is just a nasty lie,” she wrote, adding that they weren’t ‘put’ together by some mysterious Svengali but met, formed a band and played some gigs, you know, like men bands do.

They looked back on the farce a few months later, telling this writer all about it in a chat for Music Week. “I was watching as it was spiralling out of control and no-one was putting any truth to the matter,” Davies said. “I know the truth and that this band is so organic from our genesis. Obviously, we signed to a major label, but Sports Team and Yard Act are on Island and they don’t get the same criticism. I wanted to put some facts out there and never touch it again. The facts are we formed because we met at Uni, wrote all the songs… there's nothing unnatural about the way that we started gigging. We've got good management and a record label, because that's the music industry and that's been happening since the dawn of time. It's not a new thing.”

Davies reckoned that as the group put out more songs – which they have – the more the idiotic voices would pipe down – which they also have, but there’s no doubt that it left a mark on the fledgling band as to the mindset of the archetypal bitter Indie Dad on Twitter. “I think it's just the natural knee jerk reaction for these kinds of people,” Davies said, “when they see someone young and successful and female, they just feel the need to not believe the truth, which is that we work really hard and we're talented. And it's a combination of that and luck and right place, right time. People can't stand that and they get very angry.”

They overcame that particular hurdle with ease, though. Almost a year on, with their much-anticipated debut prepped for release, The Last Dinner Party are ready to ramp up the celebrations. 

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.