There’s a fine line between a gimmick and an act, so when Star wars themed metal band Galactic Empire stepped into the light last year you’d be forgiven for thinking this was just another novelty band playing on people’s nostalgic connections with one of greatest movie franchises in the word. What Galactic Empire stand for is more than just five grown men dressed up as beloved characters playing music from the movies’ soundtracks.
Heading along to Islington Academy, we were pretty intrigued about how the night would pan out. Would it just be an hour or solid movie music? Would there be more of an ‘act’? And would it even be any good? From the second the five piece consisting of Dark Vader, Boba Sett, Shadow Ranger, Red Guard and Bass Commander came on stage, we knew we were in for more than just a nostalgic musical blast through the world of Star Wars. On a technical note, these five guys are incredibly talented, taking some of the most iconic music, loved by millions, adding a metal element to it and translating it into something which doesn’t pale in comparison to the originals but rather evokes the same emotion.
On this Wednesday night, Islington Academy wasn’t full of your usual young music fans looking for a cheap night of entertainment. Instead the majority male crowd reflect the ages of the movies and, honestly, we’re sure plenty of them were around when A New Hope first graced the screens. Bringing a bit of performance into the mix, sith lord Dark Vader commands the crowd, telling anecdotes about the songs ahead exclaiming one was for his “Love of Padme and hate of sand” and one was about when the rebels sent teddy bears in when they destroyed the Death Star … again. These little additions really brought to life what the band were embodying.
The crowd laps up each and every song played by the band, with hearty screams and cheers between the tracks, mesmerized by the band’s talent, from the ‘Main Theme’, ‘Imperial March’ and the ‘Catina Band’ song which had everyone dancing arouns, through to ‘The Forest Battle’ and closer ‘Duel of Fates’. There’s something truly awe inspiring connecting the metal world with the movie world, and Galactic Empire have hit the nail on the head.