PEOPLE THINK AREA HIPSTER IS LISTENING TO COOLER MUSIC THAN HE ACTUALLY IS
(London, England) — He is young, stylish, good-looking and works at a cutting edge PR firm, so when asked what they thought Robert Doyal, 25, was listening to on his 16 GB 4th Generation chromatic Purple iPod nano people routinely name checked some of the best, coolest music recorded in the last fifty years, with Miles Davis’ Quite Nights and “something by the Last Poets” being two typical responses.
In fact, Doyal was listening to 2112, the 1976 album by Canadian art rock power trio Rush, a record that most who heard and enjoyed during their teenage years will now find grating, overly fussy and, frankly, ridiculous, despite the considerable power of the overall sound.
“By the look of him, I’m guessing ‘Lonely Woman’ by Ornette Coleman,” said City bank manager Norris MacIntyre when asked what he thought was playing in Doyal’s earphones. “That or a track from Mos Def’s Black On Both Sides.”
Skegness welder Ron Richards judged, incorrectly, that Doyal had on a thoughtfully compiled homemade collection of Beatles’ early solo singles and solo album tracks when, as Richards puts it, “there was still a little bit of Beatle magic lingering.”
Edna Ellison, who is a homemaker in Canterbury, wrongly believed Doyal was enjoying some “wicked dubstep/grime/UK funky groove; maybe a mix CD by Bristol wonderboy DJ Joker or something on Hyperdub like that new Cooly G.”
“Failing that,” Everton offered, “a Glen Brown dub–‘Away With The Bad’ would be my best guess.
Another witness, known only as Akira, suggested it could be “Same Mistake”, the first single from Hysterical, the recently released third Lp by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.”
The fact that Doyal, who lives three blocks from uber-indie music nightclub, The Garage, where the likes of Scrawl and Shellac have played, was listening to an early-period Rush Lp sent shock waves through all those polled.
“You’re f*ckin’ sh*ttin’ me,” said Leyton Davis, Leeds University student. “Not even [Rush’s 1981 commercial highpoint] Moving Pictures? Anyway, I had him pegged for Gang of Four’s Solid Gold.”
Doyal was happy to go on at length about drummer Neil Peart’s poetry-like lyrics, singer-bassist Geddy Lee’s impassioned vocals, guitarist Alex Lifeson’s range of guitar sounds as well as the group’s considerable chops and arrangement skills which he called “tighter than a gnat’s chuff.”
When asked, Doyal said his favourite 2112 songs were “Oracle: The Dream”, “Passage to Bangkok”” and (“especially“) “Temples of Syrinx”.
“At least this week!” he added with a wry laugh before shrieking tunelessly, “We are the priests of the Temples of Syrinx/Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.”
NB: this article has been revised to suit Rush’s 2112 which I got at a bootfair in Headcorn, Kent sometime last year.