Kelvingrove Bandstand Glasgow- 23rd June 2022 – a live review

Embrace were the last band I saw in Glasgow before the first lockdown and as it was their first live gig post lockdown, it felt appropriate that it was here in Glasgow once again.

The venue this time was Kelvingrove Bandstand – amphitheater style and outside – and for once the Scottish weather was on our side!

Opening with the 7 minute melancholic ‘Death is not the End’ from their new album. It was evident that the fans were already very familiar with the song as they seemed to know all the words and were singing along from the get-go.

The opening number and the crowds rapturous reaction to it set the tone for the evening as the band played a back catalogue of all the fan favourites. The crowd positively lapped it up singing along loudly and happily. After restrictions and lockdowns, it was a sight of pure joy to behold.

At one point, Danny left the stage briefly after requesting and getting a bag of tangfastics from a fan in the crowd. (See pic below)

This allowed Rik to sing the beautiful but emotional song ‘Where you sleeping’ before Danny returned to play some more fan favourites.

The band then seamlessly moved onto the first single from their soon to be released album ‘Terms of my Surrender,’ another near 7 minute track with lilting guitars, Danny’s strong vocals and one of Rik’s best guitar performances – despite being an upcoming release, this was undoubtedly a firm fan favourite of the night, proving that Embrace are still up there as one of the greats.

Up next was the track ‘Never’ which isn’t always on the set lists but this time Nicole Hope-Smith (Rik’s partner & bandmate in EEVAH) came onto the stage and her incredible vocals coupled with Danny’s brought the song to a whole new level.

One of the final highlights for everyone was when Danny decided to sing Ashes again with the crowd singing most of it for him – it was a beautiful experience to be part of as I don’t recall them ever playing the same song twice in a set.

Its obvious that the bandmates haven’t sat on their laurels during the last 2 years – all of them Danny McNamara (vocals), Rik McNamara (lead guitar and vocals), Steve Firth (Bass Guitar), Mickey Dale (Keyboards) and Mike Heaton (drums) put in a tight, faultless and one of the best Embrace sets I have heard and seen in the last 24 or so years (ahem – giving my age away here).This gig was a sensational return for the band and has me very much looking forward to their tour later on in the year.

How To Be A Person Like Other People’ by Embrace is set for release on 26 August 2022. Keep an eye on Embrace’s social media links for further updates on tour details.

Review by Lisa Bridgewater

Photos 1,2 and 4 by Kitty Smith

Photos 3, 5 and 6 by Lisa Bridgewater