Monday, October 07, 2002


Rush. So there had to be some fallout from all that noisy, hairy stuff that I immersed myself in when I first went to Edinburgh, and it turned out to be this lot. Something about them appealed to me straight away. Well, lets be honest, intelligent lyrics, clever musicianship, staggeringly good drumming and proper use of things like science fiction were always going to ring a few bells with me. I was intrigued by name checks for the likes of Ayn Rand - interestingly, using her name seemed to provoke critics into knee-jerk accusations of extreme right wing activities something which the merest effort of research would have debunked - and enthralled by a band which, having hit on a winning formula, would tend to do something entirely different next time around. There was a time when I owned all their records, even the frankly hatstand collaboroation with Max Webster. And eventually my enthusiasm faded to normal levels, and then to almost nothing. But I own some of their music on CD, and occasionally look in in their websites to see what's going on; and if some of their music no longer has the power to thrill like it did, some of it still speaks to me.

So when I remember Rush I remember Edinburgh, and up to a point vice versa; certain songs bring back very specific memories. The thing I remember most vividly, however, is my very first arena concert. Scotland had precisely no large scale indoor venues in the ealy eighties, so someone had the brilliant idea of using the Ingliston Showground Exhibition Hall. Without being unkind, it was a vast cowshed with a temporary stage at one end. The view was strictly limited, and the acoustics appalling. But it was still one of the best concerts I'd ever seen - partly due to the anticipation, and partly due to the genuine quality of these three guys. There's not much from that time that I remember with great affection, and hardly anything I'd actually spend money on now, but I make an exception for Rush.

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