YORKSHIRE outfit Embrace are back playing live after a seven year break.

The band, singer Danny McNamara and guitarist Richard McNamara, bassist Steve Firth, keyboardist Mickey Dale and drummer Mike Heaton, also released a self titled album in April.

The band are embarking on a nine date UK tour throughout May including Birmingham Academy on Saturaday, May 10.

Embrace were embraced by music fans clocking up three number one albums, six top ten singles, sold out arena tours and over 2.5 million UK album sales.

However, the band's success was not overnight as they started off in 1990 and had to wait until the late 1990s until they really became noticed, their 2003 comeback with the help of Chris Martin from Coldplay one cemented their place in UK music folklore. They even were given the honour/poison chalice of recording the England team's official World Cup song in 2006.

They recently performed two secret shows for fans in their hometowns of Bradford and Halifax.

A band insider said: "The shows have been a showcase for various off the wall shock art tactics, with the band taking the secret gig concept to the next level with a gig in the darkness and a gig in a boxing ring, with the audience dressed in white boiler suits and covered in neon paint.

"Though the shows were strictly secret, fan forums went into meltdown with both shows selling out in minutes and fans flying in to see the band from as far as Australia and Japan. "

The band are playing a Midlands double header on Saturday, May 10 at Birmingham's 02 Academy and Nottingham's Rock City on Sunday, May 11.