Viking Galaxy, Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow (10/12/10)

By Katy Cropper, BMus 4
4 Stars

Nice N Sleazy is a bar renowned for the promotion of ‘indie’ music – for posh kids with angular sideways hair and vintage outfits. What happens then, when five Vikings walk through the door with flowing locks, handle bar moustaches, tight leather trousers and a battle-axe casually in hand?

Well inevitably, some bewildered glances, giggles and stares. But, mainly intrigue –power metal band Viking Galaxy brought with them enough fans to fill Sleazy’s – a buzzing crowd, obviously excited for the long awaited premier. After being together for two years, Glasgow University students Liam Hill (vocals), Mat Brown (keyboards), Ross Keightley (bass), Mike Parkin (guitar) and Andrew Scott (drums) had promised a memorable night filled with Finnish influenced power metal, Norse mythology and incredible attire.

And what a night it turned out to be – entertaining, surreal, and at times, plain ridiculous. Although Finnish power metal didn’t exactly compliment the acoustic support act of Sean Kennedy (poor guy), no harm was done overall, and Viking Galaxy took to the stage like a long boat to water (perhaps a natural gift for those who come from Asgard). With lyrics inspired by Norse mythology, the audience ‘embarked on their voyage’. The eccentric comments from the band and whooping from the audience made it clear both were there to have fun – Mat stated that ‘we just try and have a laugh with it… we dress up because its fucking awesome – Vikings don’t shop in TopShop’.

But, Andrew spoke on behalf of the band – ‘although we don’t take ourselves seriously and are always having a laugh, we do take the music seriously – we want to try and make power metal more accessible – to do this we wanted to do something new with it’. Liam, Mat and Andrew are all classically trained musicians and ‘although Keightley and Mike don’t study music, they’re seriously talented.’ There were moments of the set where this musical talent emerged – amongst the fast paced melodies and cheesy harmonic progressions, many of the songs had hidden surprises – the opener ‘Shaft of Agony’ had the semblance of a Bach influenced fugue and Mat played repeating cycles of fifths in ‘Sickle of Hate’. Of course, when there are moments of seriousness, V.G manage to lighten the mood by taking their tops off to reveal chests covered in fake blood.

Liam believes that V.G will ‘cut through the music industry like a hot axe through a shield made of butter’. So watch out, V.G is invading the Glasgow music scene; ‘we’re recording an E.P on the 2nd February; the live and unsigned competition is on the 5th; a gig on the 12th and then a tour to Finland where we hope to spread the word’. Overall, V.G performed a confident, tight set, full of vigour, humour and musical surprises. Whether you fancy staring at / chatting to Vikings, learning a bit about Norse mythology, listening to a successful mix of power metal and classical music, or just having a laugh, their next gig will have something for you.

  • Viking Galaxy will be playing at Classic Grand on the 12th February 2011. Tickets £5 advance / £6.00 on door.
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