Embrace – live at Glastonbury Other Stage – June 26, 1998 – BBC Radio 1 –
Embrace in concert tonight. Embrace formed in Bailiff Bridge, West Yorkshire, England, in 1990. The band began in a small outbuilding at the bottom of a garden in Bailiff Bridge in 1990. McNamara brothers, Richard playing guitar and Danny started creating songs, with the aid of a cassette recorder, and soon a drum machine was added. An initial set of songs was written, then dropped and a second set of songs written. Mickey Dale soon joined them on keyboards.
After various auditions, drummer Mike Heaton joined the band. A period of consolidation of existing songs and writing of new ones followed. It proved hard to settle on a name, so gigs were initially performed from 1992 onwards under one-off names; Curious Orange, Christianne F, Shimmer and Mesmerise. Eventually they settled on ‘Embrace’. Richard was familiar with the American band Embrace, and thought it a good name, despite it having been used already. The band wrote a letter to seek approval from Ian Mackaye who replied that it was alright for the English band to use the same name, though he said that it could possibly cause some confusion. Steve Firth joined the quartet in 1996, forming their current and permanent line-up.
The band then recorded a three track demo in a recording studio in Huddersfield, which was sold at concerts in cassette form. This now extremely rare demo consisted of the songs “Overflowing”, “Say It With Bombs” and “Sooner Than You Think”.
A video was recorded of a gig in Leeds, copies of which were offered for sale. A second spell in a Manchester recording studio yielded some rough mixes, one of which was seen as good enough to be released on a cassette attached to the Leeds fanzine The Expression She Pulled. A single, “All You Good Good People”, was released in February 1997 on Fierce Panda Records. After building a following through two further singles (including “Fireworks” and “One Big Family”), their debut album The Good Will Out was released on 8 June 1998 and went to number 1 in the UK Albums Chart. The album achieved critical acclaim as well as success in terms of sales, going gold on its first day of release, becoming one of the fastest-ever-selling debut albums by a British artist, and going on to sell over 500,000 copies domestically.
Here’s a reminder of that watershed period for the band, when they played Glastonbury 1998.
Play this one loud.