LIVE: Easy Life @ The Deaf Institute | 08.11.18
WORDS BY TIM MOONEY PHOTOS BY ROBIN HARDMAN
There’s something really quite special about watching a band that is made up of genuinely talented musicians. Easy Life certainly are one of those bands. I had reached a point where I was starting to get bored of new indie-guitar bands who pumped out reverb heavy guitar-riffs accompanied by lyrics aimed at forsaken youth hunting for solace in the B-sides of lesser known EP’s. Then I heard Easy Life. I was instantly hooked by the unexplainable uniqueness of their tracks and the honesty behind their lyrics. I knew that this was a band to pull me out of my indie slump, so the prospect of seeing them perform live filled me with hope and excitement.
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They confidently brought a mix of chilled out indie beats and musical splendour to their sold out show at Manchester’s Deaf Institute, kicking off the gig in a dramatic style before walking on stage one by one and assuming their positions behind a range of instruments. Within the first song of the evening it was made very clear to me that this was a band consisting of multi-talented musicians, with the guitarist initially taking to the stage on the bass, and the bassist immediately unleashing a soulful solo on an electronic wind instrument mimicking a clarinet.
Before long the guitarist and bassist were back to their primary instruments and the front-man wandered on stage in a pair of baggy khaki trousers and an oversized yellow t-shirt. Easy Life had a very relaxed and edgy style about their performance, and weren’t afraid to show how excited they felt to be at the Deaf Institute with giant grins and frequent waves to the crowd. You could be forgiven for assuming that this was a band that had performed many times before, but their Manchester show marked the second leg of their first UK headline tour, and they were absolutely nailing it.
I enjoyed seeing the range of instruments that they used which kept the eyes wondering constantly from member to member in an attempt to keep up with the sounds they were creating. Sample pads, drum pads, synthesisers, modulators, saxophones, trumpets; all used tastefully so as to complement the performance rather than completely distract from it. Mid way through the set the front-man addressed the crowd, dedicating his next song to a friend that had moved to California and warning that the show was about to take a sad turn. This was immediately followed by a mellow new track, consistent with the melancholy vibe that had been laid out for this brief period of the show.
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After this, the band flipped the mood by breaking in to upbeat and popular track ‘Pockets’. The excitement surrounding this track was matched by the front-man who hopped off the stage and onto the bar, getting closer to the crowd and delivering his laid back vocal style from the counter where people had been buying their cans of Red Stripe. He then announced “I’m meant to be playing the keys right now” before hopping back on stage and returning to his central spot behind the keys he had temporarily neglected.
They closed the show with one of their most recently released tracks ‘Nightmares’ and urged fans to come and have a chat with them at the merchandise counter afterwards. To anyone who did decide to have a chat with them: remember that moment, because this is a band capable of selling out much larger venues in the future.