Yorkshire quintet Embracing the future

Embrace on stage.
Embrace on stage.
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It was their debut album, The Good Will Out, that launched Embrace into public consciousness.

It was 1998 and the band had already been about for several years.

The quintet, from Brighouse, West Yorkshire, conquered the world with material that started out as tracks laid down in a garden shed.

But it has not all been plain sailing. The band briefly stopped in 2002, only to return in 2003, before, four years later, deciding to take another break.

But now, the band are back with a new self-titled album – three years in the making – and a revived approach to music.

Guitarist Richard McNamara says: “We decided to have a break in 2006.

“We’d had a mad few years before that with world tours and the World Cup song and we needed some time off to focus on other things.”

The focus on ‘other things’ involved the band spending more time back home.

He said: “It means we were able to record in sensible chunks of time and go through them more leisurely.”

The Yorkshire spirit certainly runs through the band.

Richard, whose brother Danny is the lead singer, “We’ve been together for 25 years and I think that’s just Yorkshire staying power.

“We were together as a band for five years before we were signed. Most groups of that era who are still together have totally different line-ups now, but we are all friends and we all do different things as well.”

When the band have toured, it’s been to big audiences.

Embrace became one of indie rock’s main anthem bands, with songs primarily centred on ‘boy and girl’ narratives, although Richard says the new album is very different.

He says: “It’s a lot darker in many ways to previous albums. We are all a bit older and as you get older you realise what a messed-up place the world really is. But you have to stay positive as well.”

And while Embrace became known for anthemic pop numbers, like England’s 2006 World Cup song, World At Your Feet, Richard, aged 42, says they never set out to write these kind of songs.

“We just write what comes naturally – we never set out to write ‘anthemic’ songs as such,” he says.”

And as for their latest album, Embrace, McNamara can’t wait to get it on the road.

“We are really excited about this tour,” he says. “It’s basically going to be a big party. That’s what we’re about.”

* Embrace play Sheffield’s O2 Academy on Saturday. For tickets, see www.o2academysheffield.co.uk