Halfway through Easy Life’s headline party at London’s Alexandra Palace, a phone goes off. It stops the show, and rings bounce around the venue as Murray picks up to see who it is. It’s an invite to an afters, and let’s just say he’s busy. “Nah mate, I can’t; I’m on stage at Ally Pally right now,” he replies. Moments later, there’s another ring, asking if that is indeed true. Next, they’re buzzed in, and Easy Life’s triumphant night continues. It captures the feeling that runs through every moment of this Saturday night in London for a band who’ve captured a modern generation like few others.
Through a mesmerising blend of hip-hop, electronica, indie and much more, Easy Life have grown into a band whose every step feels more considerable than the one that came before. Tonight may be the biggest headline show they’ve ever played, but judging by how they command the vast hall in front of them, this is the natural home they’ve always been ready to fill. It’s a palpable celebration of a band who’ve done things their way, a shining statement of originality and passion.
From the first drop of ‘GROWING PAINS’, Easy Life embrace that feeling of a big-time show but voiced through their own speakerphone. Decked in uniform leather jackets and a dazzling production to boot, frontman Murray is a ball of energy. The lush vigour of ‘daydreams’ and the singalong refrain of ‘sangria’ set a joyous mood; few shows come close to the sheer fun and happiness that Easy Life bring. It’s dialled up to ridiculous levels, whether it’s the sweeping pop gleams of ‘OTT’ (which sees a fan join the band to play guitar in its spinning outro), the pounding electro breakdowns of ‘BASEMENT’ (which live, becomes an unstoppable wave of scorching beats and the throwdowns) or the drowned out calls of early number ‘slow motion’.
Slick and euphoric, it’s enough proof to point to Easy Life as one of the best live experiences you’ll find right now. The deep record collection that’s inspired their turns and points are played out in the boldest fashion here – ‘ojpl’, ‘frank’ and ‘ocean view’ laying out a journey infused with eclectic directions, while ‘skeletons’ turns Ally Pally into a pogoing mass of release. As Murray crowdsurfs during ‘nightmares’, there’s the feeling of a band grasping that big stage and running with it.
Yet with all the technicolour brilliance of the show put on in front of them, it’s at its emotional core that Easy Life take on a new meaning. Taking time out of the set, Murray explains how they started playing in pubs and clubs across Leicester and “to be here tonight playing in front of all of you is the greatest achievement of them all. I’m holding back tears right now.” It’s right at the surface when they crack into latest album favourite ‘trust exercises’, the room lighting up. What Easy Life have managed to do over the past five or so years is distil what it’s like growing up in an age overloaded with news, where information comes thick and fast. The combination of that, alongside a riotous live spectacle, may just be the greatest thing about this band.
That’s never clearer when stepping out for their encore; Sam from the band explains emotionally how he recently lost a close friend to suicide and implores everyone to look after one another and talk, before breaking into an emotional ‘FORTUNE COOKIE’. It’s a powerful moment that dials back to the heart of what Easy Life represents – that with everything, that human connection to look out for those around you and to dance together in the face of it all may just be the most important lesson of them all.
It cements Easy Life’s biggest headline show at Ally Pally as one to remember. Massive hits, a guest appearance from one Gus Dapperton and a blistering finale including ‘BEESWAX’, the track that started it all in ‘pockets’ and the swinging ‘DEAR MISS HOLLOWAY’ – the confetti that falls capture a landmark moment for a band firmly leading a new generation in style. As Murray notes: “Saturday Night. Ally Pally. This is the craziest shit that has ever happened to this band.”