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The Dark Side Comes To Brighton – Galactic Empire show review

The Dark Side Comes To Brighton – Galactic Empire show review

Venue: Patterns, Brighton / Date: 4th February 2017

Not so long ago in a galaxy quite nearby, Dark Vader and his other band mates, Boba Sett, Bass Commander, Shadow Ranger and Red Guard brought the dark side to Brighton, to rid the place of any rebel presence.

Galactic Empire are a band who play metal covers of John Williams’ tracks from the Star Wars film franchise. They infuse alternating riffs battling it out, deep bass sounds, some wildly played drums, as well as the technical genius of Dark Vader on lead guitar tying everything together to face the mighty challenge of covering such notorious tracks. As this sounds like such a spectacle, I went to Brighton not knowing exactly what to expect- apart from someone being strangled by the force of course.

The location of the Sith base for the night constituted the downstairs of Patterns (http://patternsbrighton.com/), a venue which sits just opposite the famous Brighton Pier. We were ushered in by the doorman who simply questioned ‘Star Wars?’. We all nodded our heads and then descended into the dark depths of the what was to become the venue for the first live performance of sci-fi metal I have and probably will ever see. As could be expected there was a low number of Jedi, only one present who took charge of the merch stand (which we were later informed did not accept galactic credits). There was however a bounty hunter in the middle of the crowd, no doubt excited to catch his idols rock it out on stage.
Support came from Mask of Judas, a progressive metal band, fronted by Jo Challen, who kicked the night off with a great balance of groove and tech metal. Check out their music here on bandcamp for ‘name your own price’ – https://maskofjudas.bandcamp.com//

After Mask of Judas, Sithu Aye took the stage to impress the crowd with their set list of heavy guitar instrumentals, featuring many riffs which created smooth transitions from breakdowns back into their heavier sound. I encourage you to check these guys out, . https://sithuayemusic.bandcamp.com/

Once the support bands finished their sets, the crowd then readied itself to witness the power of the dark side. Before coming on, a maskless Dark Vader could be seen peering through the stage door, only heightening the excitement of what was to come. Around 9:20, the band came out to plenty of applause from the crowd, with Bass Commander and Shadow Ranger setting up in front of where I was stood.

Dark Vader, Bass Commander and Shadow Range (Picture by Giacomo Palmieri).

Dark Vader, Bass Commander and Shadow Range (Picture by Giacomo Palmieri).

The set started with the opening single from their brand new self-titled debut album which came out on the 3rd February. So, there I was stood in front of the stage, whilst a Sith lord and his cronies where playing a metal cover of the Star Wars ‘Main Theme’. The music instantly creates a nostalgic feeling, whilst forcing a grin due to the oddity of what you are experiencing. The set list featured all the tracks from their debut album, with highlights being the Cantina Band song and a truly meaty cover of The Imperial March, which the Emperor himself would be blown over by. This was all broken up with conversations between the band members, something which was quite odd to experience. It at first seemed very strange to witness Vader discuss how Red Guard took a trip to explore a phone box, something not present within their own galaxy.

The night culminated with an encore featuring the ‘Duel of the Fates’, the incredibly grand track from the ‘Phantom Menace’. As the band finished their set, you realise that you have witnessed something completely individualistic which will most likely not be replicated as brilliantly by any other band. Galactic Empire work brilliantly together to create a sound which can only be appreciated- especially by us nerds!
If you would like to catch Galactic Empire, then do so quickly whilst they are still touring the UK. I fully encourage any metal and/or Star Wars fan to immerse themselves in the dark side of metal. Alternatively, stream and buy their debut album, ‘Galactic Empire’ and get headbanging to some incredibly technical metal covers of your favourite film franchise – http://galacticempire.merchnow.com/

Karl Goodwin
Producer and presenter of ‘The Pit’, CSRfm, Thurs 11-12pm as part of CSRrocks 8-12pm every Thursday.

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