Embracing the crowds

It has been a pretty momentous year for British music, with fresh artists coming from all directions, but one of the bands that has been right in the thick of things is not a new act but one coming back in from the cold. Two years ago Embrace had been dropped by their label and were forming an orderly queue for dole money. A year ago they were called from the subs bench to fill in for Jet on the second stage here at V just ahead of the release of the 'Out of Nothing' album. A year on, like the footballer back from a long injury lay off they're playing better than they've done for years. The Yorkshire boys made a triumphant appearance on the main V stage in front of an army of enthusiastic fans, as well as a blow up doll and an inflatable Mr. Happy: you gotta love the festival accessories!

It's a strange tactic to play your four biggest songs first, but it's the one they went with as the set opened with 'Ashes', 'All You Good Good People', 'Gravity' and 'Come Back to What You Know'. Far from shooting their bolt, Embrace stepped up a level with a new track from their next album, which is apparently almost ready to go. Watch out for 'No Use Crying' as it is a song as upbeat as 'Ashes' and is sure to be massive when the new material is released.

This was followed by a collection of tracks that had the crowd jumping in a way that would have any rock band proud, and was certainly against the popular perception that the slower numbers may give you of Embrace. They rounded off their hour with 'Glorious Day' and the anthemic 'Good Will Out' from their debut album of the same name.

If ever you find yourself in a corner where things aren't quite working out, Embrace can be used as proof that things do eventually pick up again. This was one of the most fanatical crowds of the weekend, one that would have seemed unlikely in a Huddersfield Job Centre a couple of years ago.