Gig review: THE DARKER MY HORIZON – The Victoria, Swindon, Thursday 27 August 2020

So it’s Thursday 27 August and the wind down to a long weekend, what better way to get in the mood than to see live music – yes real, live, raw, rock in an amazing venue, the Victoria in Old Town, Swindon.

This was a faultlessly organised gig, with the venue completely in control of social distancing measures, friendly staff, great service. What a place, if you’ve not been pre lockdown, then please put it on your list – I know what this place feels like when it’s full and even with limited capacity the atmosphere was incredible.

Opening the evening, Adam Plant performed a cool acoustic set, warming up the audience for what was set to be an amazing night of live music and pure talent.

Fall from Ruin took to the stage and the place came alive, yes we were seated but we were rocking from the get go. Great energy from the band, Alicia on lead vocals commands the stage with her depth of voice and personality, the guitar riffs from Mike, Alan are tremendous, with Andrew on bass and Sam on drums,this is original rock in all its glory.

From ‘Sympathy’ to ‘Mr Nice Guy’, the crowd were in the moment and a cheeky cover of Black Stone Cherry showed the versatility of the band, who were clearly enjoying playing as much as we were being there.

The headline act, The Darker My Horizon (TDMH) opened their blistering set with their latest release, ‘Sleaze’, which had the crowd energised from the opening chords, barely taking a breath between songs, the set was a perfect demonstration of all things that live music is – talent, energy, fun and engagement.

Paul Stead on vocals has a voice that effortlessly tackles ‘Functional Dysfunctiona’l and ‘Dear Olivia’, with Mark Stephenson on lead guitar showcasing his skills, the Neon Warrior aka Paul Hamiltonon bass and Will Knox on drums, the crowd were on their feet for TDMH‘s take on ‘Summer of 69′.

Wrapping up their set with ‘Still Alive’ – yes, yes, we most definitely are, and so is live music, and these wonderful venues … we need this, passion and energy, if this is how we support, bands, crew, live music and venues then we must do it … as TDMH would say, Seize the Day!

How privileged did I feel to be at such a gig… very is the answer … bring on next time!

Check out The Darker my Horizon and Fall from Ruin … I strongly suspect that both bands will be playing much bigger venues soon #talent #livemusic #smallmusicvenues

Review by Karen Clayton
Photos by Mark Woodhead & Karen Clayton

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