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photography by Steve Braithwaite

pod@planetbravado.com Pod
"Being Gary Weinrib"

"How hard can it be?"

Standing on one leg playing bass pedals and keyboards and bass guitar and singing a top F# in a piece of music wantonly written in a time signature made of two random prime numbers, I realise that this ranks with "The war will be over by Christmas" and "This ship is unsinkable" as the stupidest thing said by anyone in the history of the World, ever.

For the record, I have always harboured a guilty desire to play Rush's music, but it only occurred to me very recently that the only way to do it is how they do it - three guys playing everything for real without a safety net. Simultaneously, it occurred to me that finally after 30 years of music (both for them and me) I'd found musicians I wanted to do it with: literally, if it hadn't been Dean and Paul, you wouldn't be seeing this show .

The "Live In Rio" release reawakened my illness, and since meeting Alex and Geddy at the 2004 Manchester show, I've become a born-again Rush Bore. I've seen the way people look at me and edge away. Soaking up facts and figures and studying videos and DVDs just to get into Geddy's headspace - believe me, that's the only way if you're not going to fall over in "Tom Sawyer". You have to learn when to take your hands off and move, and of course how to do the one-legged hop dance and when. It's like "Being John Malkovich" but not. Sort of.

So, we've amassed the gear: Yamaha CS2X synth, Technote MIDI bass pedals, CreamWare MiniMax synthesiser, Fender "Geddy Lee" Jazz Bass, Fakenbacker bass, Steinberger clip-on six-string, Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI, Ray-Bans and of course my custom keyboard/mic stand, "RoboCop" - thanks due to Barney and all the Electro Music drum team who had a hand in that!

Pod would also like to acknowledge the tremendous if unknowing support of Paul Theakston and Émile Remy-Martin.

Paul paul@planetbravado.com
"A snowdog writes ..."

Being in 7/4, playing pinched harmonics on unexpected syncopations: "great". I seem to be stepping on my pedal train (or is it Dean's fills?) to use lush chorus, delay sounds more than ever. Its like rubbing your bump and patting your head at the same time, although watching Pod balancing on one leg with one hand on the keys, the other foot on bass pedals, singing, playing bass and being superman at the same time, makes my job look easy.

Yes, I love what I do, playing guitar with two of the best musos around, playing the music of my all time favourite band. Pseudo-reggae, to baroque style classical guitar to mythical lyrics covered with rock. Having always been a Rush anorak, and seeing the band many times over the years, collecting all their artistry, it is time for us as a three piece to go out and play classic Rush.

My Toys:
Engl Screamer heads, combos & cabs (Englebert); PRS Guitars complete with strings; Epiphone twin-neck; Taylor nylon strung NS32CE; "Terminator 2" featuring M-Brace guitar holder; Pedal Train geared up with Line 6 MM4 modulator and DL4 delay, Morley wah/volume, Korg PT10 tuner and lots of lights.

deano@planetbravado.com Dean
"Diary of an analog kid"

It is 1978. Rush has just entered my 15-year-old life for the first time. "Hemispheres" is placed on my turntable in my room, and stays there for 2 months.

I loved the complexity, the impossible timings, and the great musicianship; the songs were cool too. But it wasn't until 1980 and "Permanent Waves" that the Rush bug really took hold.

Like most drummers, we each learn our craft by playing along to our favourite music, but I hadn't realised how tough (indeed, impossible!) playing along to "Permanent Waves" and "Hemispheres" would be. Neil Peart became, and would remain, one of my heroes.

Its 2004, and I am approached by two lovable rogues and asked if I want to play in a band honouring the music of Rush. I go and buy all the stuff on cd, place it in the cd player, where it remains for 2 months …

The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that my set up does not resemble Neil's but is in fact a Gretsch Broadkaster drum set comprising 10", 12", 14", 16" toms and a 22" bass drum. However, in order to recreate the diverse drum parts, it had to expand to include temple blocks, wind chimes, agogo bells, 10" timbale snare and extra cymbals! I also now have a Roland SPD-S sampling pad for extra percussion and keyboard sounds which Pod hasn’t enough feet for. Snare drums vary, and my cymbals are all Zildjian. My pedals are Drum Workshop 5000 Accelerator series.

Having this opportunity to play this wonderful, exciting and challenging music, my love for the band has started all over again. Just hope I can play it this time …

And our beloved crew! Technical questions? Want the view from the side-stage? Your comments? Mail 'em !

.................Chris - stage right...............Matt - centre stage...............Craig - stage left.................


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