Into Music Reviews: Embrace – Barrowlands, Glasgow

Act: Embrace
Venue: Barrowlands, Glasgow
Date: 6 March 2019

More and more bands these days are choosing to play their most revered album in full and when Embrace announced plans to play their debut, The Good Will Out, I was quick off the mark to get tickets for their Glasgow Barrowland gig. Having seen them play the guts of the same album, at the same venue, 21 years earlier, I was keen to revisit a personal favourite by a band I’ve seen over a dozen times in the intervening years.

Starting off with All You Good Good People, which builds slowly before the song soars upwards, powered by pulsating drums and Richard McNamara’s crashing guitar, the tune reached an imperious crescendo before slowing down a notch. Arms aloft, singer Danny McNamara conducted the crowd singalong as the feel good factor kicked in. The band were clearly loving it and with 2,000 punters singing back more than a few “la la la’s”, it was easy to see why.

So far so good and the fact the album is filled with an abundance of heavyweight tunes means the early standard set is rarely lowered during the next 90 or so minutes. The balance is there throughout with just the right mix of anthems and ballads resulting in a self assured debut album which largely translates well on the live stage. The heart tugging My Weakness Is None Of Your Business follows, singer Danny’s voice straining with the clear emotion of the song. Then followed by the redemptive Come Back To What You Know where Richard leads the song with a stellar guitar hook.

The clear highlight, well, for me anyway, is the melancholic Fireworks. A song so tender, vulnerable and sensitive in its component parts, Danny’s vocal is sung wrought with emotion.

All good things have to come to an end and the initial set finishes with the album closing The Good Will Out which turns into an eight minute masterpiece, complemented by the crowd again singing more than a few “la la las” back at the band. Epic.

A generous 5 song encore includes Never featuring Nicole from support act Eevah before Gravity and Ashes brings the concert to a triumphant close.
Danny mentioned part way through the gig that this was the bands 9th Barrowland appearance which is quite phenomenal. On this performance, I suspect there’s a few more to come.

John Welsh

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