TWO decades on from the release of his band’s debut album, Danny McNamara is finally experiencing things usually reserved for people in their twenties.

The Embrace frontman insists he’s a slow learner and has taken forty-years to fully grow up.

Now 47, he has recently fallen in love and got married, which has left him feeling 15 again.

“Falling in love so late on sort of makes you think that life is really short, like, I need to get on with things.

“Not having this in my life for the last 40 years, what the f*** was I doing?”

Now with seven albums to their name, it’s clear why Embrace, comprising of brothers Danny and Richard McNamara on vocals and guitars/vocals respectively, keys player Mickey Dale, bassist Steve Firth and drummer Mike Heaton, are described as Yorkshire’s best and most enduring bands.

Not only has the line-up stayed the same since their debut release, so has their commitment to making the best music they can.

Danny explains: “Our standards haven’t gone down. A lot of bands release their second or third album starts to slowly slide and we’ve really tried hard not to let that happen.

“As bands get older I think there’s a natural tendency for a sort of rut to set in and we’ve fought hard against that.

“It takes a long time to get the stuff you think is good enough. I think our last album is as good as anything we’ve done and I don’t think many bands can say that after seven albums.”

Judging by the album’s performance, the fans tend to agree.

Love is a Basic Need gave the band the perfect score of seven out of seven albums to reach the top ten.

It’s title comes from Danny’s eye-opening experience of love.

“My life is quite eventful, a lot of things have happened to me.

“I’m a different person now to I was when we started out but I'm no less excited about life.

“I’m a slow learner and I’m slow to grow up. Things that most people knew in their twenties and thirties, I’m not really getting until I’m in my forties.

“I’m writing with a weird take on things. In the last few years in fallen in love and gotten married and I’ve never felt like that before so that’s where the album came from - that love is a basic need.

“Before that most of the songs I wrote was essentially about not having it.”

Back in the day, Embrace were regulars on the festival circuit having rode the wave of indie rock from the nineties into the noughties.

Some of their best shows were at T in the Park and Gig in the Green, Danny remembers.

“We always really love playing Scotland.

“T in the park and Glasgow Green and all those gigs have always been one of our favourites.

“The best ever gig we’ve ever done was when we headlined T in the Park in a tent. Richard had snapped a string and his amp blew up in the first song and didn’t realise until song three because the crowd was so loud.

“They had to make more space in the tent to get everyone in. We’ve played Glasgow festivals three or four times and all of them are in my top five.

“We just got inducted into the Barrowlands Hall of Fame and we love Scottish audiences.

“Our singles always go to number one here and our last album went to three in Scotland.

“We’re one of those bands where the songs are more famous than the band so most people think ‘Embrace do I know them?’, and we sing Ashes or Gravity and they go ‘awww I know this one’.

“Usually when we come on the cheer isn’t as big as when we finish because they all remember.

“At the front of our crowds there seems to be younger and faithful fans from the beginning.

“The new albums kind of go down as well as the old stuff. With older bands sometimes people stick around for the old stuff and then with the new ones they go to the bar to the toilet. With us that doesn’t happen, the new stuff goes down pretty much as well as the old stuff.

“Our fans are almost old enough to have kids that are old enough to come to gigs so you get some of that as well."

Embrace will be returning to Glasgow for a slot on the Main Stage at TRNSMT Festival 2018.


O2 Academy

The flamboyant pop-rock band fronted by brothers Russell and Ron Mael will be coming to Glasgow next week.

Formed in 1968, their albums  include A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing, Kimono My House, Propaganda, No1 in Heaven, Lil Beethoven and 2017’s hit Hippopotamus, as well as singles such as This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us and Beat the Clock.


Aidan John Moffat, RM Hubbert
Saint Luke’s

Scottish singer, songwriter, writer and musician formerly of Arab Strap, Aidan John Moffat and singer and guitarist RM Hubbert will be performing their collaborative album Here Lies the Body – released back in May.

Siobhan Wilson and former Arab Strap drummer David Jeans, will be joining the tour which also stops off in Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, London and Manchester.