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SOME people are on the pitch, they think it's all over - it could be now, as Embrace revive the spirit of 66 with a flag-waving terrace anthem to spur on England at the World Cup.

Sporting triumphs may be few and far between for us Brits, but with a track such as World At Our Feet, fortune could well be on our side.

Of course they'll need far more-than a little luck to get them through, with sides such as Brazil and host nation Germany tipped to claim the much-coveted trophy.

Yet England may well be in with a shout in Embrace frontman Danny McNamara's estimation.

"These things are always a roll of the dice but I think England have as good a chance as they have had during my lifetime," enthused the affable Yorkshireman.

"I think we've come up with a good song and got a load of our friends in to make it sound like a rabble.

"We didn't want to do it ironically like New Order’s World In Motion which was a good song, but I preferred Three Lions as you could see Baddiel and Skinner welling up on the chorus - which is more wholehearted like our music."

His optimism is no doubt enhanced by his own success of late with the group's sixth album landing them their third number one record.

From the resoundingly up tempo opener No Use Crying, this heartfelt offering digs deep and comes up with the goods.

"It's amazing that we've been together as a band for 10 years and are now doing better than ever commercially. It still hasn’t sunk in. I keep thinking that there’s a parallel universe somewhere in which the album went in at number 22 and then bit the bullet."

It’s easy to understand his sense of shock given the fact they were written off four years ago when the band, which includes his younger brother Richard were dropped by their label.

Forced to sell some of their band gear and fall back on dull day jobs, they were nevertheless determined to claw their way back.

The result after three painful years work was the aptly titled Out Of Nothing, helped along by their old friend Chris Martin who penned its lead single, Gravity.

"Everyone was really nervous about it as we just weren't sure if people would like it. But you only regret the things that you don’t do in life."

As for their latest release, its deeply personal lyrics were fuelled by a romantic rejection which Danny, 35, recently suffered.

You sense there’s a melancholy edge to the singer who has been troubled by a rare condition affecting the speed of his heartbeat which requires him to take beta blockers.

"I just deal with it the best way I can," he added.

More-than a decade on from starting out in their garden shed, they seem to have found a place they seem comfortable with. It's been a bittersweet ride, though a rewarding one against the odds.

"I can’t imagine doing anything else - it makes me feel great to be going out in front of people and to see the smiles on their faces when we play. My favourite gig has to be the V Festival before Out of Nothing - we were last minute replacements for Jet and we came on the crowd just went mad."

* Embrace play Bedgebury Pinetum on Sunday, June 11. Support comes from Morning Runner. Tickets £23. Box office 01842 814612 or see www.forestry.gov.uk/music.

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