Live Review: The Darker My Horizon, One Last Day and Revenant – The Acoustic Couch, Bracknell – 1 June 2024



As the well-known song goes ‘two out of three isn’t bad’, and that we should be satisfied with that. Apply that to tonight’s line-up and we didn’t have to settle for less than perfection as all three bands performed their hearts out, and gave us an excellent night of local rock music.

First to take the stage was Newbury (Berkshire) based band Revenant. Made up of four musicians; Carl Donoghue (Drums), Matthew Hudson (Guitar), Robin Nutley (Bass), Sugarman Sam Lay (Singer/Guitarist), this relatively newly formed band played songs from their What A Time To Be Alive EP released in 2023. These songs covered a wide range of emotions including the latest single The Healer about a friend who didn’t want to be on this planet anymore, and how they weren’t going to allow that to happen. A beautiful slow song with very poignant words that I’m sure many can relate to on either a personal basis, or someone they know. Rolling on My Back was for their kids, time at home, and life itself. It started slowly with Matt on guitar and Sam’s emotional vocals, gaining tempo when the drums started, and then reaching full crescendo when the second guitar and bass joined in, slowing down again before building back up to finish. Every band has an anthem song and I feel this will be Revenant’s. Later in the set there was a ‘tribute’ to Matt’s ex-girlfriend The Masquerade which wasn’t to be outdone by Coming Back to Life for Sam’s ex-wife. Listening to the lyrics in these songs they’re a definite “I’m alright without you!” or stronger words to that effect! Audience participation time…’Cheer if you’re a fan of Black Sabbath’ [audience cheers], ’Cheer if you’re a fan of Led Zeppelin’ [audience cheers], and Revenant launch into a mash-up of War Pigs somehow intertwined with Whole Lotta Love. ’Cheer if you’re a fan of AC/DC, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, etc, you get the idea. Somehow, they made all these songs intertwine so well that you never actually knew where they were going to go, yet each song was easily recognisable when played. Very clever, and extremely enjoyable. Make sure you go and see them at one of their upcoming gigs this year. Fantastic start.



The middlemen tonight were Berkshire and Hampshire based One Last Day, made up of Alex Willox (Vocals), Gareth Stapleton (Rhythm Guitar), John Harmsworth (Lead Guitar), Huw Roch (Bass), and Connor Burt (Drums). When this band took the stage with No Chemical, the energy in the room increased 10-fold, and attention was grabbed for their whole set. This Bottle Got Me about a recovering alcoholic showed off Alex’s wide vocal range, right down to the grungy ‘lose my mind’ and back again to softer (relatively speaking) but still powerful vocals. Next Stay Away From Me was a request to do yourself a favour and stay away from him. I’d comply if I was whoever you are, as the lyrics left no doubt that he was not in a good mood with you! Introducing As Time Stands Still as one of their ballads, it was indeed slow, heavy, powerful; everything a rock ballad should be.  Most of the songs were from their 2021 album Chapter 1: The End is The Beginning, but the current single It’s A Sin is  ‘doing well on the radio,’ and we’re told ‘don’t give up on [your] self-belief’. Finishing with Out of The Black which is best described as rock ’n’ rap combo’ that worked very well, and I don’t usually like rap! During their performance all band members, drummer excepting, were running around the stage and sometimes even off it! At one point there was only the drummer on said stage as the other four members were with us in the audience! One Last Day is one of those bands that oozes confidence, and rightly so. They own that stage and their audience when performing, and deliver some great songs that are starting to get attention in all the right places. Upcoming festivals and other live dates mean you have no excuse not to go and see them – soon.

One Last Day


To the headliners tonight with The Darker my Horizon, some of whom were originally from Bracknell. ‘There’s people here I haven’t seen since school!’ Formed in 2015, a few changes along the way leads to today’s line-up of Paul Stead (Vocals, Guitar, & Keyboards), Russ Barnett (Drums/Percussion & Vocals), Jamie Bannon (Guitar & Vocals), and Mike Wigglesworth (Bass & Vocals). With four albums and two EPs released to date, there was plenty of material to choose from for their hour-long song set. Opening with Functional Dysfunctional then straight to Heartbeat, and then a tribute to Metallica Waste of Oxygen which had Enter Sandman vibes with angst and angry lyrics to match. The set continued with Sleaze, No Superhero Pt.1 (yes there is a Part 2), Dear Olivia, Afraid, covering subjects from unrequited love, asking to be appreciated for oneself, keeping a loved one safe. The songs were varied in style and tempo, some more upbeat and heavy than others, but all with the TDMH sound. The new single from the EP is Rock N Roll Away is an invitation to … well, rock all the night and day, another fast and heavy beat. The next song was introduced as ‘something soft for all you romantics’, On My Way ‘is the closest we get to a love song’. It was indeed, with slow, sway along riffs, and soppy love lyrics to match. Aw. Another from the latest EP, and Paul’s favourite Never Let You Go was accompanied by great backing vocals. All too soon it’s nearly curfew and somehow they timed the last two songs to finish precisely on time. Music Man about what makes them travel all over the country to bring their music to us, ‘to put the smile back on my face’, and then inviting us all to ‘go out on a bounce’ with the finale Still Alive did exactly that, with a promise to party again. That closed the set at exactly 23.00 hours! Impressive, as was the whole show. More gig and festivals dates coming up for them too.

Three very different musically styled bands that worked well on the same bill precisely because they were different. Each brought their own uniqueness, and each gained new fans tonight. So, when they ask you to support small venues and small bands, buy merchandise, buy tickets (only £15 OTD which is a fraction of the cost of a train ticket to London), and physical music, it’s so they and others can continue to bring us brilliant nights of live music like this.

I think Meatloaf would have agreed that three out of three is best of all.

The Darker My Horizon


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