Embrace at Rock City, Nottingham, UK – 30th March 2018

Posted by Bianca on Friday Mar 30, 2018 Under Britpop, Indie, Rock

Gig Review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Chris Selby

It was a horrid Good Friday (this an oxymoron) which greeted us at Nottingham’s Rock City. The driving rain however did nothing to dampen the spirits of the sell out crowd.

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Having liked Embrace for over 20 years and only having seen them a handful of times, I was more than a little excited. The older clientele in attendance would suggest that I wasn’t alone in my 20 year love affair with the Leeds band, and based on the crowd’s reaction it wasn’t the first time many of them had seen them.

Making their way to the stage at 8.15, which gladly meant an early night for a number of us oldies, they kicked off with ‘Wake Up Call’ from their newest album release ‘Love is a Basic Need’. Instantly recognisable as an ‘Embrace staple’ it had all the hallmarks of the Leeds band’s signature; melodic verse followed by a kick ass all guns blazing chorus. Splendid!

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Wasting no time in driving the crowd into a frenzy with another anthem; ‘Good Good People’, just two songs in they were cooking on gas! Take note of how to do it bands of future generations.

“When we last did a gig here it was the noisiest audience we have ever played to”, professed the cheekiest of chappies in the lead singers fraternity, Danny. “You can’t lie about this shit anymore coz you get found out on the internet” confessed the singer before launching into, what for me is their most anthemic song, ‘Get Back To What You Know’ with a perfect singalong rendition from the crowd.

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“We’re gonna do a new one now – this one’s ‘Rabbit Hole’” – a morbid builder of a song, extremely atmospheric and really well received by the audience.

“My little bearded brother is gonna do one now for you ‘professed Danny on leaving the stage. He lied – he did three. The younger McNamara sibling, who incidentally is an impressive vocalist, belted through with ‘Where You Sleeping’, one of the stand out tracks for this years new album Love is a Basic Need and swiftly followed up ballad ‘Refugees’, a song which has more than a hint of Springsteen about it.

‘Some Day’ from 2004’s ‘Out of Nothing’ marked Danny’s reintroduction back to the fold, and signalled a full on rapturous anthem, the Leeds man acting as the conductor, marshalling his loyal band of troops to join in from the stage.

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It then went a little weird. Mick’s tiny balls were discussed in great detail, seen largely as the reason for his falsetto capabilities and a rendition of the Bodyform theme tune ensued.  Then, just as it seemed the levels of oddness had reached maximum, the physics of jumping up and the necessity of having to land, were discussed in great detail, together with a ‘bobbing’ demonstration in consideration at the aging demographic of the audience and their potential knee problems!

Thankfully normal order resumed with an awesome rendition of ‘Save Me’ and true to their earlier promises the crowd did jump up and down (or bobbed heads) with renewed vigour.

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The beauty of watching a band that have a lifespan of over 20 years like Embrace is that invariably it becomes a greatest hits show, meaning that rip snorters like ‘One Big Family’ get an airing alongside fans favourite ‘Gravity’. There really is something for everyone.

The Encore saw a return to the stage with support act Eevah and culminated with ‘The Good Will Out’ the perfect closer to the perfect gig. Keep on rocking Embrace.

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Setlist: Wake Up Call / All You Good Good People / Nature’s Law / Follow You Home / Come Back To What You Know / Rabbit Hole / Where You Sleeping / Drawn From Memory / Refugees / Someday / One Big Family / Love Is A Basic Need / Save Me / Gravity / Ashes Encore: All That Remains / Snake Oil / Never / The Good Will Out

See the complete photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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