Easy Life at The Academy Green Room, Dublin on 6th October 2019
There aren’t many acts in the world who could walk on stage at an Irish venue wearing a miniature leprechaun hat and not draw criticism, but, such is Easy Life frontman Murray Matraver’s likeability, he somehow manages to pull it off. He’s also helped by the fact that The Academy Green Room is such a poorly set up venue that for anyone who isn’t in the front row, it’s nigh on impossible to see the band, let alone what they’re wearing, but we digress.
We praised Murray’s on-stage personality in our Electric Picnic review last month, and tonight is no different, as he jokingly opens the set with a rendition of Wagon Wheel to fill some time while drummer Olly Cassidy fetches his kickdrum pedal before apologising in advance for any potential vocal discrepancies during the show. “We’ve just flown back from LA and my voice is fucked.”
If we’re being honest, he could have stayed silent for the entire show and most in attendance would have been none the wiser, such is the volume at which the sold-out Academy Green Room belts each and every lyric (even Wagon Wheel) back at the band across the hour-long set. Most-recent single Earth kicks proceedings off before Murray warns the crowd they’re going to “make a grown man cry” at the end of Sunday.
The fact that Easy Life appeal to such a young audience is made all the more sweet by the prominence the band give to their brass instruments, with the outros on Afters and Slow Motion, in particular, putting the emphasis on the skills of saxophonist Sam Hewitt. Murray’s voice begins to struggle around the halfway mark but he battles through. “I might never sing again after this ’cause I want to sing for you fuckers so bad!” he exclaims. See, likeable.
Fan favourite Pockets, which has Fifa 19 to thank for its huge popularity, is a moment. One which cements our belief that it’s only a matter of time before Easy Life will be main staging festivals, possibly even as headliners if their long-awaited album goes well. New song Nice Guys, which is getting its first-ever live outing, is a solid start to that album campaign, with no let-up in the crowd’s engagement that one would normally expect when a new song gets an outing in a live setting.
The supremely relatable Mercury Retrograde (“Surrounded by the stuff I love, why am I still miserable? I know God’s being kind, why the fuck am I still cynical?”) kicks off the encore in melancholic style before an all-out party ensues for Nightmares, the band’s biggest hit to date. Bodies leap around the dancefloor, lemons are thrown (the band reference lemons in the track) and a number of head injuries are sustained as the Green Room’s low ceiling acts as an auto-deterrent to anyone trying to climb on their mate’s shoulders. It’s a joyous melee. If only all of life was this easy to enjoy.