IMAGES AND WORDS BY BILLY SEAGRAVE
“On A Night Where ’90s Nostalgia Hung In The Air”
If there’s an air of triumph about Embrace as they take to the stage at the O2 Apollo Manchester tonight it’s a self-belief born out of long-fought battles and hard-earned victories rather than any sense of cockiness.
Ellur (Ella Mcnamara) has always known she wants to pursue a career in the music industry.
Dedicating her entire life to performance and music and, being the daughter of Richard McNamara (Embrace/EEVAH), has grown up immersed in the music industry.
The Indie-Pop artist has come a long way since writing her own songs since being 11 years old, inspired by 80’s icons and aesthetics of Madonna, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks.
Ellur is quite the natural at bringing dreamy layers, with sparkly, washy diaphanous guitars as well as her own talents of providing such gentle velvet vocals that is not afraid to step out and belt out a catchy chorus. There is almost the sense of the evangelical at an Embrace gig: there is a loyalty, a passion and fervour amongst the fan-base that is just about unequalled; it often gives the evening a religious-like zeal, and that is certainly in evidence tonight.
As soon as Danny McNamara strides on stage, he’s conducting the crowd, punching the air. The band’s latest album has given them another top 10 chart hit and it’s clear that tonight will be a celebration.
It says something for the longevity and consistency of Embrace that the opening two tracks are from their latest album. “How to be a person like no other”, “Death is not the end” along with “We are it”, draws in the crowd, who have clearly come to let their hair down. What you get at an Embrace gig, is that it is one big family, with many fans coming to meet up with other enthusiastic followers. Of everything Embrace. Danny addressing the crowd and really seeming up for the introduces the stellar classic “Come back to what you know”, the warmth in the venue emanated from the crowd.
Taking tracks from right across their recording career is well received from a rather boisterous crowd. “Someday”, finishes and seamlessly “All you good, good people”, heightens the connection from artist to crowd.
Danny seems in his element orchestrating the crowd, paying homage to the band, and asking the crowd to really sing out, “Gravity“ and “Ashes”, which they duly do.
Closing out the evening with “Fireworks”, and lastly “The good will out”, draws down the curtain on a fantastic evening, arms around each other taking a well-deserved bow in front of a fanbase that more than played their part.
1/ Death is not the end
2/ We are it
3/ Come back to what you know
4/ My weakness is none of your business
7/ All you good good people
8/ How to be a person like other people
9/ Natures law
10/ Run away with me
15/ The terms of my surrender
18/ The good will out