The Last Party. Together from 1985 until 1996 when, rather than break-up, they changed their name to The Bitter Springs and have carried on ever since.
Formed in 1985, the London-based Alternative band had some 9 singles and 3 albums to their credit before deciding to become The Bitter Springs. The reason for the change was simple; as The Last Party they were largely ignored by the press, even though they had opened for The Stone Roses‘ first London gig and caught the ear of John Peel, who recorded two sessions with them – one in 1987 and this one, in 1989, it still wasn’t enough to sufficiently sway critics to acknowledge the band. So in 1996, they became The Bitter Springs and have gone on to release 16 more singles and eps and 8 additional albums. And apparently that did the trick, because under the new name they released their debut Addison Brothers EP, which was tabbed by Mojo Magazine as Album of The Month and was given 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars from Melody Maker.
They have gone on to enjoy a string of successes with their latest album Cuttlefish And Love’s Remains released in 2015 to continued good reviews.
So, I guess that answers the age-old question; “What’s In A Name?” – as The Last Party failed to make much dent with critics and audiences. But as The Bitter Springs, a complete change in fortunes and recognition. I suppose stranger things have happened under more baffling circumstances, but it certainly says something about the fickle nature of the Press and audiences – and why choosing a name for your band really requires some thought and not calling yourself just anything is really important.
But as a reminder of their earlier incarnation, here is the second Peel session with The Last Party – recorded on January 3, 1989 and broadcast on January 9th.