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Live Review: Galactic Empire @ Manchester Satan's Hollow

Photography by Laura Piggford.

How to describe the insanity that was this gig?  The bands were on top form and I hadn’t heard of any of them until this year. It was night of top notch performances and excellent music. I have to say entering Satan’s Hollow for this gig was entertaining in itself. With the people dressed in Star Wars costumes and having nerdy discussions in the crowd. I was particularly excited for this as it was going to be a night full of instrumental music. Which allows for more of the expression to come from the music alone. I’ve always liked this venue with the stage set up in the middle of the room. You can get a different experience from seeing a gig here.


I was immediately interested in this band straight away.  I mean come on, a rock band that plays video game music.  EZXP, got everyone in the room hooked straight away. Their tight musicianship and energetic performance was damn fun to watch.  It was great hearing these songs played in this way. The tenacity and vigour that this band played these songs was excellent. No matter what point of the show, when you looked at them they were smiling and all you could see was glee on their face.  Which is good to see. I love it when I watch a band and they’re enjoying themselves on stage. When the band is having fun, the crowd loosens up and has fun with them. The songs were great too. It was all nostalgia fuel for me. Covering the music from Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Pokemon and more. I’m sure if you’ve picked up a classic video game ever, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy in their set.  With them being at the start of their career I’m sure with their talent, they’ll go places.

Sithu Aye

Next up, was a bit of a slower paced act. Sithu Aye is a progressive metal act and they

made a definite impression with me.  Such incredible talent. The silky smooth tones coming out of the speakers. The songs themselves with nice melodies, the beautiful two part guitar harmonies.  The bass-lines were quality and the drum work was a masterclass.  As far as their technical ability goes, they were damn excellent. Yet, my problem with them is that they were so wooden on stage. I don’t know what it was but their personality didn’t show through. So, the set felt really stiff and not one song flowed into the next. That was a major drag on the set.  I sure there are people who like seeing set like this.  Yet, I like when a band has energy and the set flows. In a technical aspect, they were sound, they might need to work on their stage presence though.  I would have liked it more if they just owned the stage.

Galactic Empire

My god, this was damn entertaining. The band marched on stage and busted into the opening Star Wars theme. They sounded excellent. With every the instruments coming through loud and clear. The music is great, well you already know that it’s the music from Star Wars. Played on loud electric guitars.  Yeah it’s awesome. To complement the music the stage show was excellent. With the members of , Galactic Empire remaining in character for the whole set.  They managed to create some fantastic banter with the fans.  For a small nightclub in an alley in Manchester. They still created an amazing stage show that was completely engrossing. For a minimalist set up it managed to draw the crowd in as the tunes blasted. Iconic songs and orchestral queues from the franchise. All sounded great when played in this style. This was one hell of a gig.  Although short it was more than worth going. The atmosphere was warm and inviting. The Manchester crowd was cheering, dancing and providing some good heckles for the band to banter to.  So everyone shared in a chuckle. For the concepts alone, all three of the bands are worth listening to and checking out live.