Music students get a taste for the Easy Life at DMU

Emerging Leicester band, Easy Life, chose to rehearse at De Montfort University (DMU), giving students a valuable glimpse into the music industry.


The group took centre stage at The Venue@DMU in order to prepare for their European and North American tour, following the release of their debut album, Life’s a Beach.

Arriving on campus with their lighting and sound equipment, the band and their crew were supported during an intensive day of rehearsals by DMU’s second-year Music Technology students and technicians from the performance and events team.

Easy Life rehearsing at The Venue@DMU (photo credit Joe Vozza)

Jamie Merryfield, a member of the performance and events team who also teaches the live sound module on DMU’s Music Technology degree, said: “We have such a versatile venue, so there’s no end of opportunities to work with great artists and I’m always keen to get my students involved.

“The module I teach is all about sound engineering in a live setting. A lot of the course is based in our recording studios and workshops, but providing hands-on experiences like this is really important.

“Our students learned so much from Easy Life and their crew, who were all so generous with their time. The crew really appreciated having extra hands on deck and gave us some great feedback.”

Two of the students who benefitted from the experience are 22-year-old Leon Riley from London and 20-year-old Adam Roberts from Shropshire.

Easy Life rehearsing at The Venue@DMU (photo credit Joe Vozza)

Leon, who is currently on a year-long work placement with DMU’s performance and events team as part of his degree, said: “It was an amazing day, as we got to work closely with and learn from their own sound and lighting engineers.

“They did a pre-production set to get the sound mixing and lights right, which we helped with. Then they played the entire tour set and we got to sit back and enjoy it, which was brilliant.

“At the end we helped them to pack everything down. It was a really long day, but seeing how all the jigsaw pieces come together to create an event like this was so rewarding.

“One of the best bits was how down-to-earth everyone was. The band got stuck in with everything - they bought us teas and lunch, and even took time to sign autographs.”

Easy Life rehearsing at The Venue@DMU (photo credit Joe Vozza)

Choosing to undertake a placement year wasn’t an easy decision for Leon, but it’s one that he doesn’t regret.

“I was scared about losing my academic momentum, but it fits so perfectly with my degree that I’m glad I went for it,” he said.

“I’m constantly learning on the job, not just about sound, but also about setting up cameras, staging, recording and more. I have individual responsibilities and get lots of support. It’s really going to help me for the final year of my degree and once I graduate.”

Adam was already an Easy Life fan before the opportunity came up and had even seen them perform live before.

Music Technology students enjoying the show (photo credit Jamie Merryfield)

He said: “Seeing the industry in action was brilliant. I got stuck in by helping them with all the wiring, and there was a lot of troubleshooting to keep us on our toes.

“They showed up with their entire tour stage, which involves a crazy amount of equipment, including mixing desks and a lighting rig, which was so eye-opening and inspiring.

“Getting the chance to explore a range of modules on our degree and to experience different areas of the music industry will definitely put us in a strong position for the future.”

Peri, Co-Director of 247 Studios Ltd and Production Manager for Easy Life, said: “The Venue@DMU facilities were ideal, enabling us to build our stage set to match the biggest stage on our tour - Brixton O2 Academy - and giving us a true sense of how the final show will look and feel.

“It was great working with the technicians and students at DMU. As well as being knowledgeable, their attitude and excitement to work really stood out. Even though it was a very long day with lots of waiting around, they were ready whenever we needed them and had high spirits until the last piece of equipment was loaded onto the truck.

“These attributes are valued as highly as technical skills in the industry. If you have the right attitude, you will learn the skills.”

Posted on Wednesday 22 December 2021

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