“After eight years away, it’s amazing to be back,” proclaimed Embrace singer Danny McNamara from the stage, a simple but effective platitude to match the similarly couched sentiments expressed by many of his songs.
Embrace - Academy, Glasgow
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From Britpop latecomers to genuine stars via the generic indie anthem market, it might have struck many that the West Yorkshire contingent may have already outstayed their critical welcome when 2006’s fifth album This New Day landed. Yet the reception here suggested the hardcore refuse to budge on the tastes of their youth.
The place was packed and dense with older audience members, and there was a predictably thrilled reaction to the group’s impressively comprehensive selection of still-familiar radio songs. New tracks aside, everything here had a ring of recognition when heard, despite a live production which was much more raw and basic than on record, songs like Save Me, Gravity, Ashes and the pining Come Back to What You Know in particular showing up as somewhat predictably swaggering terrace anthems.
The youthful (when written) raucousness of One Big Family aside, then, they remain a group who are still unafraid of going for the simple but effective communal crowd-pleasers, as evidenced by the singalong “oh-oh”s of Follow You Home, the comeback single from the new, eponymous album. It’s all great if you’re attending their show with little desire to be surprised, but the dry reaction to synth ballad A Thief On My Island or the unexpectedly addictive and most uncharacteristic falsetto disco thump of Quarters suggests only the mildest of variety will be tolerated.
Seen on 16.05.14