The beach balls are already flying through the air before Easy Life come bounding on to the main stage at Reading 2021. Frontman Murray Matravers has brought out his six-pack of Carlsberg and is ready to ‘av it. The crowd, resplendent in bucket hats and beachwear regardless of the often chilly weather, have seemingly been primed for these Leicester lads’ blissed-out summer bops all weekend. They don’t need an excuse to party, but Easy Life sure as hell give them one.
Opener ‘Pockets’ effortlessly brings us in to laissez-faire cool of their whole schmaltz-meets-Ibiza-weekender approach, like Bruno Mars at the Hacienda or Jamie Cullum on a pinger. What’s not to love? The chilled R&B of ‘Sunday’ brings out the snake-hips of the legend on trumpet, and Murray even gives himself a brief sensual rubdown. He’s feeling it alright, he’ll later go as far to pull his trousers down and lift his shirt over his head. It’s not a schtick, mind. The sense of abandon is real, and judging by there being more fans on each others’ shoulders than not. “Is everyone having the best weekend ever,” he asks before the fittingly-titled ‘Have A Great Day’. Yes we are, and yes we will.
‘Daydreams’ proves an anthem for the day-drinkers, as Murray charges the barriers and does a lap of the whole crowd. He can’t get enough of them. “Open this pit up!” he bellows, “Look around you, there’s three mosh pits – there should be fucking one. Make it bigger!” A pause. “Let me in!” Predictably, the pit collapses in a tidal wave as everyone clamours for a piece of the frontman as shit gets really quite feral for ‘Skeletons’. After spending 18 months apart, it’s heartening for barriers to disappear and for everyone to feel like one.
The set ends with Murray lobbing any liquid he can find, drummer Oliver Cassidy going head over heels into the crowd, guitarist Lewis Berry smashing his axe to bits, and all present shining with an MDMA-zing glow. It’s impossible to walk away without a smile. These lads could convince Morrissey to do the Macarena. They certainly convinced the sun to shine, both in the sky and in our once cold, dead hearts.
Check back at NME all weekend for more reviews, news, interviews, photos and more from Reading & Leeds 2021.