Rushing back to city to clock in with the Angels

Rush members Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee live on stage
Rush members Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee live on stage
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Last month Rush were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It’s an accolade that follows more than 40 million record sales, almost 40 years’ worth of live shows and a reputation for complex musicality.

But they’re not stopping yet. Canadian Rockers Rush are now on a full UK tour, stopping at Sheffield Arena next week. The tour follows last year’s album, Clockwork Angels, which was accompanied by a fantastical novel written by the band’s lyricist and drummer Neil Peart and novelist Kevin J. Anderson.

The release of Clockwork Angels, combined with the band’s acceptance to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, makes this show a particularly special one.

Guitarist Alex Lifeson said: “It seemed like a nice idea but if it didn’t happen then it wouldn’t change anything for us. For our fans however, it was much more of a bigger deal. They felt slighted by the fact that we’d been eligible for a decade and a half before we were inducted.

“I was indifferent at first but on the night when we felt all of the love in the room from all of these musicians who we admired but who looked upon us as inspiration to their careers. That was really a terrific feeling.”

But now the band are preparing for the UK tour.

“We love playing over here. The last tour was the first time that we had played at the O2 in London which was so much better than Wembley Arena and the Arena at Sheffield is a really good arena too. We’ve played there a few times now and it has a pretty good sound for that type of venue.

“It’s important for us to play outside London too so we try to play as many places that we possibly can when we’re here.”

Rush are renowned for their epic sets of up to three hours, putting much younger bands to shame. Lifeson puts this down to discipline and the band’s dedication to their music. “We’re much more conservative on our days off than we used to be, not that we were crazy wild party guys. We only work alternate days and those off days are truly recovery days especially for Geddy and Neil. Geddy tends to get up at 1pm and doesn’t talk so he can rest his voice.

“We have a chef who cooks organically and both Geddy and I hit the gym. We’re very conscious of keeping our energy levels up so we can play a three-hour set. We’re going to be 60 this year so we have to look after ourselves.”

With 20 studio albums to their credit and only The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Kiss with more Platinum and Gold awards, Rush’s back catalogue is pretty hefty. “We always start with the most current material and we want to play as much of new album Clockwork Angels as we can so that takes about an hour.

“Then we fit in the classic Rush songs that we need to do every tour then we fill the set up with whatever obscure songs we want to include. ‘‘