Here’s a little peek behind the curtain for you, Dear Reader – the term ‘industry plant’ doesn’t really mean anything. Sure, hype doesn’t necessarily mean a band is going to be incredible, but it also doesn’t usually mean that the band in question are being propped up by a shadowy cabal of famous parents, industry money and Illuminati contacts.
In the case of The Last Dinner Party, it turns out the hype is because they’re really, really, really (really) good. Playing The Great Escape for the first time, they effortlessly fill the 500-capacity venue they’re playing at, with a queue snaking around the block, to boot. If they’re intimidated by the weight of crowd expectations, they don’t show it, chatting between songs and just generally making it seem like they were born to play bangers.
Theatrical and over-the-top, the band are the opposite of the dour post-punk which can dominate so much of the guitar music world. Vocalist Abigail Morris is twirling around the stage in an extravagant dress as she lays down ABBA-inflected harmonies, while the rest of the band follow suit in recreating an image of 1920s ballroom opulence. Debut single ‘Nothing Matters’ is obviously a highlight, as good live as it is on record, but we’d also like to give an honourable mention to the appearance of a keytar halfway through the set – truly the silliest (and therefore best) instrument around.
We’d predict big things for The Last Dinner Party, but everyone’s already done that, so instead we’ll just say this – believe the hype, and leave snobbish notions of ‘industry plants’ at the door.