There may be five official members of Embrace, but I reckon hundreds more could claim to be a part of the Brighouse band.
I’ve seen hundreds of acts play live over the years, at tiny pub gigs to giant arena and festival shows – but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a legion of fans so devoted to their idols.
The band’s sell-out show at the brilliant Unity Works in Wakefield was crammed with 700 of Embrace’s number one fans, who sang, danced waved their arms and hugged their way through the set – a great mix of new stuff and their biggest hits from previous albums.
A fantastic introduction came from Batley and Wakefield support act Sons of Great Men with a melodic, Sixties-tinged rock and roll set, featuring four-part harmonies and a heavy breakdown in the dark, modern swing ballad Smiling at Strangers.
The quality of the songwriting and performance belies the fact the band is only 18 months old. But eagle eyed music fans may have recognised the members from previous local bands The Blueskins, Pavilion and Anechoic.
The three have combined their talents and experience and stepped it up a notch – and it can only be a matter of time before we hear more from them on the radio.
After a warm reception from the audience, the band gave the stage up to the main event, by which point the room was packed – I spotted Ross Jarman from The Cribs and Educating Yorkshire teacher Mr Burton among the crowd – then to rapturous screams and applause, Embrace hit the stage.
From my spot in the crowd singer Danny McNamara was almost drowned out by the audience, but it was great to hear well-known favourites All You Good Good People, Come Back To What You Know, Follow You Home and Gravity, which got fans singing along with every word – and it’s clear the band knows how well they’re loved by their local fan base too.
Almost everyone was wearing at least one piece of Embrace merchandise and a good few dozen had their logo drawn on their cheeks – and I even saw one woman who had it tattooed on her wrist.
The gig felt like a family gathering – and perhaps the biggest cheer of the night went to One Big Family, from 1998’s The Good Will Out.
Embrace have had success all over the world and are taking their latest tour to America in June - but I think everyone knows the home crowd is where their heart is.
•Sons of Great Men’s new single, Halloween, is available to download from free at sonsofgreatmen.co.uk.