It’s been anything but an Easy Life for the Leicester five-piece in recent months. Second album ‘Maybe In Another Life’ was delayed by seven weeks last summer while triumphant headline tours in Europe and North America pencilled in for later this year were cancelled due to how expensive everything is right now.
It’s a very modern run of unfortunate circumstances, but Easy Life have always provided an optimistic soundtrack to modern struggles. Tonight (Feb 25), as they headline London’s Alexandra Palace, the band do everything in their power to create an escapist house party that’s heavy on posi-vibes. Taking to the stage wearing matching leather jackets, Easy Life lean into their reputation as an “unlikely boyband” while the hazy funk of ‘Growing Pains’ and the tropical pop of ‘Daydreaming’ provides a pristine opening.
That polish doesn’t last for long though. ‘Basement’ offers a touch of industrial scuzz while ‘Sangria’ offers the first of many explosive singalongs. Halfway through ‘OTT’, vocalist Murray Matravers decides he wants a fan to join them onstage. “Quick, Ally Pally. Does anyone play the guitar,” he asks. Someone from the front row is then hurried onstage just in time for the distorted outro. It’s a bit messy but that’s when Easy Life are at their best.
Later, Matravers channels his inner Oli Sykes when he demands the audience open the pit up for ‘Peanut Butter’ while during rowdy festival anthem ‘Nightmares’, he crowdsurfs to the very back of the venue before having to awkwardly make the long walk back to the stage.
Best gig … so so good . I didn’t mosh .. Chester did. He and his mate started a mosh pit #proudmummoment
— Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) February 25, 2023
There’s a touch of The 1975’s theatrics to Easy Life, from the show’s instrumental introduction to the theatrics that introduce special guest Gus Dapperton for a glorious run through of ‘Antifreeze’, but the band have much more in common with the likes of Glass Animals. Easy Life’s emotional indie is given a euphoric twist live and the entire show feels more like a never-ending celebration than a series of self-reflections.
There were still moments of heartfelt sincerity, though. Matravers calls the show “the greatest achievement of all” for the band while multi-instrumentalist Sam Hewitt takes to the mic for a powerful speech about depression and suicide. “Please, talk to your friends. Let people know how you feel. You shouldn’t ever feel like nobody cares, because we all care,” he encourages before the piano-led gut-punch of ‘Fortune Cookie’ and the woozy ‘Dear Miss Holloway’ round out the night.
Tonight’s show at London’s Alexandra Palace sees one of Britain’s Best New Bands crank up the ambition at a time where their lush anthems of perseverance couldn’t be more needed. Everything might feel a little uncertain right now and Easy Life have never pretended to have the answers but during their biggest ever headline show, there was nothing but joy. The sooner they can share that with the rest of the world, the better.
Easy Life played:
‘Maybe In Another Life’
‘Calling In Sick’
‘Antifreeze’ with Gus Dapperton
‘Dear Miss Holloway’