Following the lifting of restrictions on 19th July, no band have returned to touring quicker than easy life. In fact, they hit the road on that very day, on their UK record store tour. Gemma Cockrell was lucky enough to catch them at Rough Trade in Nottingham on 22nd July; here are her thoughts on her first gig experience since the start of the pandemic.
Easing myself back into gigging after a year-and-a-half hiatus, I was grateful for the small capacity of the venue – the upstairs floor of Nottingham’s Rough Trade record store in Hockley felt like the perfect location for my first gig post-lockdown. Not too vast or overwhelming, with around 150 guests watching Leicester’s finest bands back in action.
''They opened their set with sunday, warming fans up with the mellow tones of their 2019 spaceships mixtape''
easy life know exactly how to put on an intimate show for their fans. After their 50-minute set had finished, everyone was able to get their CDs, vinyl, cassettes and posters signed by the whole band. Fans also had the opportunity to take photos and have a quick chat with each member.
They opened their set with sunday, warming fans up with the mellow tones of their 2019 spaceships mixtape, before bursting into performing tracks from their debut album life’s a beach for one of the very first times. Also performed were have a great day, ocean view, lifeboat, skeletons, daydreams, homesickness, nightmares, and living strange. The latter received a surprisingly energetic response from the crowd, given the fact that it was not released as a single in advance of the album. I had assumed it would be one of the lesser-known tracks from the album, but I was proven wrong by the Nottingham crowd.
The boys leapt into a rendition of sangria, a track from their junk food mixtape that was released in 2020. The studio version of the track features the soft, delicate vocals of Arlo Parks, but obviously she was not present at the gig. Vocalist Murray Matravers asked mischievously “Are you ready to hear my [Arlo] Parks impression?” and then performed her verse with surprising ease.
Every band is obliged to close the gig with a fan favourite, and easy life chose their breakout single pockets to serve this purpose. Despite the track being four years old now, it was received better than ever by the fans. It seems undoubtable that this is a track that easy life will be playing live for the rest of their careers.
''There is still something magical about being surrounded by people who are just as passionate about music as yourself''
One thing I quickly realised that I had forgotten about gigs is how hot and sweaty they can get. I had not experienced a crowd in any form since the beginning of 2020, let alone cramped inside a tiny gig venue. There still something magical about being surrounded by people who are just as passionate about music as yourself, and my enjoyment quickly dissolved any of my Covid concerns.
Live music made a triumphant return in Nottingham this week, and hopefully it is here to stay.
Written by: Gemma Cockrell
Edited by: Amrit Virdi