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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Embrace come back from the brink
Danny McNamara
Danny McNamara takes beta blockers while performing due to a heart condition
Rock band Embrace will perform the official World Cup song for England later this year, capping a remarkable resurrection for a band who were on the brink of obscurity.

It is almost a decade since rock band Embrace first emerged with their epic indie anthems.

After stints of success and despair, they have now established themselves in UK music's premier league.

They have fought their way back to the top after being dropped in 2002 and have released a new single, Nature's Law, currently at number two.

"We promised ourselves after we got given this second chance that we'd enjoy the ride more," singer Danny McNamara says.

Indie favourites

The band's first spell of success came in the late 1990s, thanks to anthems such as One Big Family, All You Good Good People and Come Back To What You Know. But their popularity waned and they were dropped in 2002.

We were selling the band's gear to keep the band going
Embrace drummer, Mike Heaton

"There were times when individuals in the band would be really despondent," says frontman Danny McNamara.

"But we still believed in ourselves and each other.

"If one or two of us were feeling down at any point then the others would be feeling up. We just carried each other through it."

'Lean period'

The members of Embrace were forced to find work after their label dropped them from their roster four years ago.

"It was a very lean period," says drummer Mike Heaton.

"I've got a family and had bills to cover so I was out painting houses and stuff." Keyboardist Mick Dale and bassist Steve Firth also got jobs.

"We were selling the band's gear to keep the band going," Mike says.

Chris Martin
Embrace were boosted thanks to Coldplay's Chris Martin, who penned a song

But they returned to the Top 10 when Coldplay's Chris Martin wrote their 2004 comeback single, Gravity.

They started writing their latest album, This New Day, straight after they finished recording their double platinum-selling disc Out Of Nothing.

Danny did not want to go straight back to the studio, but their label asked them to "plug in and play", he says.

"On the first day we got three new songs, and from then on it all just poured out."


As Embrace singer Danny McNamara is recording and performing, he knows too much adrenalin or stress could be dangerous for his heart.

He takes beta blockers to combat a condition called tachycardia, an abnormally fast heart rate.

"What I do is not, I suppose, an ideal lifestyle, the amount of adrenalin you get when you're performing," he says.

"But you just deal with it the best way that you can. I can't see myself doing anything else with my life."

"I'm not planning on living long so I'm enjoying every day as it comes," he adds.

"I know a lot of men with heart conditions tend to die in their 50s. And if you make it past your 50s then you're likely to live into your 70s."

So he treats life "as though it's even more precious than I would if I thought I was going to live longer," he says.

"Which is probably a good thing."

Embrace picked for World Cup song
28 Mar 06 |  Entertainment

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