Embrace O2 Victoria warehouse, Manchester. Friday 6th March 2020

O2 Victoria warehouse, Manchester.
Friday 6th March 2020.

With support from….

Starsailor were supporting Embrace tonight at O2 Victoria Warehouse and having seen them many times I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of their music. Even the tracks from nearly 20 years ago still sound fresh and relevant and James Walsh’s voice is always impeccable. They got a huge applause when they arrived on set and went straight in with early sing a long favourites Alcoholic and Poor Misguided Fool from their 2001 debut album Love Is Here. Someone in the crowd then shouted “play Silence Is Easy” to which James replied “that would just be f**kin’ stupid to play the best songs at the beginning”. Although as far as I’m concerned they’re all the same calibre…. Fantastic!!!
James also mentioned that Embrace have got some anthems so he warmed us all up by making us sing the ‘Whoooaaaohoh’ part to Best Of Me, from newest album All This Life, a few times before cracking on with singing it. The band sounded amazing too, especially during Tell Me It’s Not Over which is their superb single from 2009 album All The Plans.

They then dedicated Four To The Floor to someone who couldn’t make the gig as they were in hospital. Apparently the band have many requests for dedications on social media so James did a general sweep of happy birthdays to anyone who’s birthday it was too. They ended the set with Good Souls and a rapturous applause from all. The fantastic set also included Lullaby and In The Crossfire.

Embrace blew the roof off when they came on stage, and the power. Just as the chorus began to All You Good Good People the lights went out and the music stopped. Luckily the crowd managed to finish the chorus and amuse themselves until normal service resumed, I’m sure they thought it was intentional at first.

My Weakness Is None Of Your Business slowed things down after the anthemic introduction but the anthems then continued with Come Back To What You Know, which I admit ends my limited knowledge of all Embrace songs so I was intrigued to what else they had in store. This sold out venue was packed full of fans enjoying themselves throughout this set which was a mix of tracks from 2 albums The Good Will Out and Out Of Nothing. Songs such as Last Gas and One Big Family provided the opportunity for a good sing a long for the fans and I may have recognised a few more later on which I had forgotten about. Having spoken to a few of Embraces die hard fans I got the impression that they had enjoyed a good night but I personally had found it all a bit dated and lacking in energy with not enough stand out tracks. The encore was pretty unspectacular and frankly I could have left after the first 3 songs and been happier.

Setlist :
All You Good Good People
My Weakness Is None Of Your Business
Come Back To What You Know
A Glorious Day
Looking As You Are
Wish Em All Away
The Last Gas
One Big Family
Higher Sights
Out Of Nothing
– Encore –
That’s All Changed Forever
The Good Will Out


Philip Goddard

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