Sometimes in life things just work out by accident. Galactic Empire‘s tour was originally rescheduled for December, but was moved to February to coincide with the album launch. I was worried the shows would be scarcely attended, but to my surprise the London show had sold out and many others on the tour followed suit. It was clear that victory was at hand for the dark side with many fans (in Star Wars shirts, Qwertee Galactic Empire shirts and band shirts) queuing in the rain outside to get in. After buying some merch (a tour shirt which featured locations from The Original Trilogy), from their ‘captive Jedi slave,’ it was time for the show.
If Galactic Empire represented the dark side, Sithu Aye represented the light side. The progressive brain of Sithu Aye had made music that was beautiful, interesting and intelligent. The sweeping guitar work was complimented by the skills of his backing band, musicians who Sithu let flourish and gave credit to by introducing them. It was a bit overlong at times, but Sithu Aye thoroughly warmed up the crowd.
After Chewbacca himself walked on stage to add the setlists onto the Death Star themed stage with imperial officers acting as roadies, it was time for the show. Galactic Empire have had a funny old journey, from viral superstars, playing the Oscars, successfully crowd funding a UK tour and selling out most of the shows. They marched on stage to a heroes welcome and launched straight into the saga’s main theme, following it with ‘The Imperial March.’ They played their debut album in full, but not in order and did not play a note wrong. But what really made the band stand out was their sense of humour, they were genuinely very funny. Dark Vader said the reason for the tour was due to the election of Trump and they decided to pop across the pond “to have a pint in the Winchester and wait for this to blow over.” There were also lots of Star Wars in-jokes that were on point as the Death Star hitting the mining facility in Jedha. “This ones about how much I love Padme and hate sand,” stating Vader before the band launched into ‘Across the Stars.’ There were also some comedy skits on stage, the Death Star test fire against the Rebels (complete with green light display) proceeded before ‘Cantina Band,’ while Sithu Aye (announced as Sith Lord A, better than Sith Lord B), was force choked on stage for being a ‘rebel spy.’ After their set, the band came back on stage for their encore of ‘Duel of the Fates,’ which was a perfect end to a great night. Galactic Empire aren’t a fad, they’re the real thing.
Galactic Empire and Sithu Aye put on a hell of a show, but my problem was that it was over too quickly. The night was only two hour long sets and we were finished by 10:15. It was great as I got to get an earlier train home and more sleep, but disappointing as there was easily more time for another band. But this was only a minor issue as this was a great gig. What was also commendable was how dedicated the band were to their fans. Straight after they packed their gear they went straight into the crowd to pose for photos, sign merch and shake hands. I managed to get a photo with every member of the band (and Sithu Aye) and they were also lovely and humble, it was clear it meant a lot to them that people queued in the rain to watch them play their first ever UK show in London, and selling it out! They will return and so will we, and in greater numbers.