Easy Life @ HMV Empire, Coventry, UK – 10th August 2021

Photography by Robert Barrett

The last time I took the escalator up to what is now the HMV Empire, it was to purchase a pair of £10 trainers. Like a caterpillar the Empire cocooned up at the start of the pandemic and has now emerged as a beer filled butterfly within its new premises at Hertford Street. Now instead of cheap sportswear the venue was filled with excited fans eager to see Leicester’s finest five piece Easy Life.

Releasing a debut album during the lockdown was a risky maneuver, but it didn’t stop Easy Life finding success with “Life’s a Beach”. Like the album they kicked off with “a message to myself”, the cheeky charm, biting lyrics and seductive sax solos they bring were on show from the get go.

The album heavy setlist brought the lockdown beach vibes, glossy singles like “Skeletons” washed over the crowd like a cooling wave on a hot day. They kept the older fans singing along with tracks from the earlier EP’s and mixtapes such as “peanut butter” and “sunday”.

“Introducing our special guest Arlo Parks!” shouted front man Murray Matravers as the side door opened much to the shock and excitement of the crowd. The hype was insane until they realized it was a cruel ruse from the band. Any lingering disappointment was quickly forgotten when they played collaboration with her “sangreia”, a super smooth slow jam perfect for a hot summers night.

The end of the set brought us what I’m naming the worlds first “wall of worm”. Where the band split the crowd in half and keyboard player Jordan Birtles did the worm from the stage to the sound desk. I’m honestly surprised the sticky floors didn’t hold him down more as he slithered across.

Fan favorite “Pockets” wrapped up the show for a brief moment, until the crowd called them back on stage for a two song encore. What Coventry cheap sportswear lovers lost, Coventry music fans gained. Long may the HMV Empire continue to give us excellent gigs like this.

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