Gig Review: The Last Dinner Party at The Bodega

Words: Charlotte Gould
Photos: Stephanie Webb
Wednesday 26 July 2023
reading time: min, words

After featuring in our July print issue, The Last Dinner Party took to the Bodega stage on their first UK headline tour...


Escaping the rains that had swamped Splendour festival, I headed to Pelham Road to find it almost full of revellers. Some dressed in finery, debaucherously decadent, pearlized people with cinched waists afforded by vintage corsets and elaborate trench coats, to those dressed like me, who clearly didn’t get the memo, wearing clothes somewhat less extraordinary.

The Bodega, an iconic music venue to the Nottingham indie scene, suddenly transformed, the stage shrouded in a protruding mist, we were in another realm. A world of vintage dress and modern tongues, classics recycled to suit a contemporary musical revolution, with insatiable The Last Dinner Party holding the torch.

The fog first cleared when the support band, Slow Country, appeared on stage, bringing a lyrical landscape that explored the cities of heartache and valleys of bliss, delivered in a jagged musical display using harmonicas, tambourines, and even an egg-shaped maraca.

Setting the tone for the night with their bewitching ballads and striking ability to scream-sing, their songs (still unreleased) LongingMother and 2 by 1 had the crowd swaying, hands aloft and eyes batting back tears. When these songs do finally drop, prepare yourself to feel propelled to move whilst simultaneously feeling the need to self-reflect and psychoanalyse all your actions and beliefs. 


An earworm of an existential crisis dressed like Kate Bush and Heathcliff are the only way to define this enigmatic band. Fans of The Smiths, Adam and The Ants and The Cure should definitely head down to their next live show. Pair that existentialism with empowerment, erotica and divine feminine energy and you might fall somewhere close to The Last Dinner Party.

Silence had befallen the Bodega, the queue at the bar had quietened and the audience held both their breath and their half-finished drinks close. The stage had stood empty for 45 minutes, it was almost as though we were hosting a party, like Gatsby hoping Daisy would show. Where are they, people were muttering. A distant sound of silk and fallen pearls echoed from just beyond the abandoned instruments. The lights lowered, mist rippled away from the stage and suddenly five figures appeared. Our long-awaited guests had arrived.

Watching The Last Dinner Party is like attending Marie Antoinette’s ball after reading Wuthering Heights. The all-female quintet cordially invite you in to their orchestral Boudoir, executing their songs in an ethereal way that exude gothic romanticism, leaving you entranced, euphoric but also melancholic - a sense of wanting to be a part of it, this choir of rebellion, rage and authenticity.

Lead singer Abigail Morris is a spotlight, the halo of the stage. She bewitches with her movements, both a marionette and puppeteer, delicate and damning. Her vocals exude the energy of a fallen angel in their operatic delivery. This audible prowess paired with the passion and power of the band create a theatrical performance.

The song serving as a propulsive reminder that perhaps nothing really does matter, other than in this moment

Made up of Aurora Nishevci, Georgia Davies, Lizzie Mayland and Emily Roberts, and Abigail Morris, the girls met during Freshers' week at university and started to host gigs in South London. This lead to their discovery after a video of them performing was uploaded and a cascade of record artists got in touch asking to represent them.

What’s more surprising than the mesmerising stage presence and poignant musical narratives is that the band have so far only released two songs, their debut single Nothing Matters and Sinner. The running joke is, well, how do they fill their set list, then? By playing the same songs over and over again? 

Of course not. The audience attends an audible feast of foreboding tales, biblical references and philosophical revelations in the form of Burn Alive, with its pounding drums, macabre melodies and ferocious feel, Portrait of a Dead Girl and glam-rock Caesar on a TV Screen, all baroque-pop fuelled anthems, full of hunger and rage, becoming a harmony in a hurricane. 

Gjuha, which translates to 'Tongue' in Albanian, is performed predominantly by Nishevci. It’s an introspective track that offers an insight into her culture and background. The disconnect and difficulty she feels while living in England, as someone with a Greek background but has spent most of their life here. Heartfelt humanity defines this song, with Morris joining on vocals, her voice a hand reaching out reminding Nishevci that she’s home with her, with the band.


Sinner, written by Mayland, is full of electricity. Its soaring crescendo and tantalising whispers allude to pent up kineticism before exploding into an elaborate outfit of anguish, triumph and relief - a musical homage to what once was but also desperate longing for what could be, wrapped up in a colourful disco style melody. Flamboyant and ferocious, this track is musical magic.

Finishing on Nothing Matters, a florid floor-filler that will have you yelling the chorus fluently before you’ve heard Morris howl it twice. The monotony of the day, the dread of tomorrow, all drains away. The audience now a collective crowd, a united voice. We all move as one. The song serving as a propulsive reminder that perhaps nothing really does matter, other than in this moment, the moment in which we are all together, all dancing to our new favourite song.

The Last Dinner Party performed at The Bodega on 22 July 2023.

We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.