A Driving Instructor's Blog

Rush Nominated For Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

I heard this on Planet Rock radio today. At long last Rush have been nominated as inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A statement by the band is understandably casual:

We are honored to be among the nominees for this year’s Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. We are especially thrilled for the many, many dedicated RUSH fans to whom this nomination is so very important.

When you consider that other nominees this year include Chic, Joan Jett, NWA, Public Enemy, and Donna Summer, the real value of the nomination becomes clear. But it’s been the same for years. Previous inductees have included The Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Madonna, Blondie, Prince, Aerosmith – and a host of other glossy American pseudo-rock bands.

Nevertheless, you can cast your votes here.


Evarose @ Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

I went to a good gig on Saturday (29/9/2012) at Nottingham,’s Rescue Rooms.

A while back I saw a band on one of the music channels – I think it was on Kerrang, in one of its brief moments away from promoting rap and hip hop. They were called Evarose. This was the song I saw – it’s called “Best Left Alone”. I was immediately taken by the song and I put them on my “watch” list”.

I was duly (well, eventually) notified that they were coming to Nottingham and so I bought tickets. They were support for another band called “Straight Lines”. Also supporting were Summerlin – who I saw a few months ago at the CJD gig.

Summerlin aren’t really my cup of tea! They could be – there’s no question that they have talent – but every song they play sounds the same, which isn’t helped by the fact that you can’t hear their lyrics. Of course, that might have had something to do with the acoustics – small rooms with a stage about 6 metres by 5 are never going to be acoustically pure – but Rock City (and the attached Rescue Rooms) is like a rabbit warren, with getting on for a dozen such locations.

What was interesting though was that as the sets moved from Summerlin, to Evarose, and then to Straight Lines, there was a noticeable progression from raw to polished. That’s not to say that Evarose weren’t polished – it was just an overall impression I got.

Evarose have a pretty good stage presence (as good as it can be on a tiny stage), and although a couple of their videos make them look very teen-poppy their sound is quite heavy.

I’m not going to go into individual song details, even though I bought Evarose’s existing CD after I’d seen them on the TV. All I will say is that if you get a chance you’ve got to go and see them. If they get the right break, they’re a band that will definitely go places.

The annoying thing is that CJD are also a band in the same position – and yet the gig at the Rescue Rooms (well, two actually, as they said they’d had a bummer there when I saw them last year supporting The Darkness) – was a washout because of the low turnout.

And yet every crap rap act going seems to get air time.


Rush Get Prog Award For Clockwork Angels

Rush - Clockwork Angels AlbumThe progressive (prog) rock awards were even covered on the BBC this morning (6 September 2012). But more importantly, Rush’s album Clockwork Angels was voted best prog album of the year.

Other notable winners include Rick Wakeman (who I feel sure would have a comment of two on the title of his award, “PROG GOD”), Carl Palmer (“VIRTUOSO” – even though he’s a drummer, and it’s nice to see that what they say about drummers isn’t true), and Genesis (“LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT” – even though they’ve been a pop band since the mid 70s when Phil Collins took over vocals). I can’t remember if the voting for that Genesis category was open (so we plebs could vote) or closed (so the industry could).

Either way, you get some odd results sometimes. At least the Rush one was kosher.


Clockwork Angels Debuts at #2 in Billboard 200

Clockwork Angels Debuts at #2 on Billboard 200

Not bad going, is it?


Rush: Clockwork Angels Released

I got my pre-ordered fan pack on Saturday (9 June 2012) – three weeks ahead of the standard CD release date for Rush’s new album, Clockwork Angels.

clockwork_angels_album3The pack contains the album, two large posters (my name is on one of them somewhere as an early pre-orderer), a key ring, and a superb glossy magazine about the band and the album. The album CD itself is housed in a hardback case with a detailed lyric and information booklet (with some superb artwork) bound into it. The whole pack oozes quality.

First thing I did when I got it was rip the tracks to a memory stick so I can listen in the car – and I’ve been doing that ever since I opened the pack.

The album is brilliant. The mixing is such that the sound is heavy and clear, taking its lead from Snakes & Arrows – one of my favourite Rush albums, Presto , suffered a little from what I considered to be a “thin” sound, and I’ve always wished their other albums had been mixed “louder”. But I guess the technology has come a long way in the last 40 years!

I’m not going to do a review of every track – sound is in the ear of the beholder, after all – but the last track, The Garden , is beautiful. The liner notes and lyrics say it all:

LONG AGO I READ A STORY FROM ANOTHER TIMELINE about a character named Candide. He also survived a harrowing series of misadventures and tragedies, then settled on a farm near Constantinople. Listening to a philosophical rant, Candide replied, “That is all very well, but now we must tend our garden.”

I have now arrived at that point in my own story. There is a metaphorical garden in the acts and attitudes of a person’s life, and the treasures of that garden are love and respect. I have come to realize that the gathering of love and respect – from others and for myself – has been the real quest of my life.

“Now we must tend our garden.”

In this one of many possible worlds, all for the best, or some bizarre test?
It is what it is – and whatever
Time is still the infinite jest

The arrow files when you dream, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes
The hours tick away – they tick away

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect

In the rise and the set of the sun
‘Til the stars go spinning – spinning ’round the night
It is what it is – and forever
Each moment a memory in flight

The arrow flies while you breathe, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve
The hours tick away – they tick away

The treasure of a life is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give
In the fullness of time
It’s the only return that you expect

The future disappears into memory
With only a moment between
Forever dwells in that moment
Hope is what remains to be seen

I’m really looking forward to hearing that one live next May on the tour. And the rest of the album is of similarly high quality. My only worry is that it might be some sort of message…

Over the weekend, Planet Rock had a special hour-long show with Darren Redick talking to Geddy Lee, and they played most of the tracks. When they came to The Garden , Darren said something about how if this was the last song Rush ever wrote it would be a fitting end. Let’s hope there’s nothing in that statement.

Oh, and it IS a concept album. And you can still buy the fan pack – look on Planet Rock to find out how.


Rush Time Machine Tour, 2011

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, but here are some of the pictures I took during The Rush Time Machine Tour in 2011 (from all venues).

Geddy Lee & Neil Peart at MEN 2011Alex Lifeson at MEN 2011Geddy Lee & Neil Peart at MEN 2011

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