Farewell gigs can be an important moment of closure for fans and artists alike, providing one final celebration and a memory to take forwards into whatever’s next. For Easy Life though, the feelings are an awful lot more complicated.
It has taken less than a fortnight for the band to announce that they were being sued over their band name by easyGroup (the brand owner of easyJet airlines), concede defeat in said legal battle, and play their hastily arranged final gigs in their hometown of Leicester and adopted home of London. “Sadly, it seems that justice is only available to those who can afford it,” they wrote online. We simply don’t have the funds to access a fair trial in the high court.”
With a deadline of Friday the 13th (the headlines write themselves) given to them to cease operating as Easy Life by, the band held a fire sale of merch, released a fan-favourite song from the archives and played the bittersweet final gigs. “I thought we’d all be getting a lot more emotional,” frontman Murray Matravers told the crowd before the final song of the show at KOKO. “But I think we’re all just fucking exhausted.”
Despite this exhaustion, the band manage to have fun with their final moment and give Easy Life an almighty send-off. After selectively choosing the sound of an aeroplane taking off and an in-flight security announcement as their walk-on music, the band ran through highlights from their two studio albums and beyond with charm and character. Having to arrange and play the gigs so quickly also allows the band to witness the significant goodwill currently being directed towards them in real life, and they played to a fervent, sweaty crowd firmly on their side.
“Fuck easyJet!” the crowd repeated over and over half way through the show, with Matravers magnanimous in response: “Your words, not mine. I’m not allowed to say such things, but I concur.” Only a few further references are made to their legal opponents across the show: Matravers changes the lyrics on ‘ultimatejutsu_1644.wav’ to hit out at “Stelios [Haji-Ioannou, easyGroup owner], easyJet and all the other fuckers!”. Earlier, after a chaotic romp through ‘Skeletons’ – Easy Life’s best song – drummer Oliver Cassidy jumps into the middle of the moshpit as Matravers cackles on stage about their recent brushes with the tabloids: “Stick that in the Daily Mail ya bastard!”
Anger, joy, frustration: it’s all here at a strangely unique final show for a band who were heading to the top. They still very well may do, too – Matravers is at pains to confirm to the crowd that the band aren’t breaking up for good. “It might take us a minute, it might take us a while, we have a lot of shit to sort out, but we’ll be back,” he says, but it still feels like the end of an era. As shown by the crowds at KOKO and in Leicester, and the unanimous support seen online, something as frivolous as a name change can’t halt the ascent of a band this charismatic and resilient for long.
Easy Life played:
‘Temporary Love Part 2’
‘Dear Miss Holloway’