Ahead of what is fast becoming the best summer of live rock in living memory, legendary prog rockers Rush have joined Maiden, Journey and Foreigner in announcing big UK arena shows for 2011. The Canadian trio will bring their spectacular three-and-a-half hour Time Machine tour to our shores next May – featuring the magnificent Moving Pictures record in its entirety.

Tickets go on sale a week today – that’s November 26 – and full details will be revealed on the official Rush website (www.rush.com) next week.

Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are, without question, one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, equally famed for both their virtuoso musicianship and provocative songwriting.

Rush is one of rock’s most influential bands, ranking third for most consecutive gold and platinum albums behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The band has engaged legions of devoted fans over the decades and is admired by generations of musicians.

Announced today, Rush will bring their revered Time Machine tour to Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and London next summer.

The Time Machine tour is an evening with Rush, where they will perform their classics,  give a taste of the future and will – for the first time ever in the UK – feature the Moving Pictures album live in its entirety.

The North American leg of the tour kicked off in June of 2010 and led to Rush ranking number one on Billboard’s “Hot Tours” chart, followed by a return to Brazil and first-time shows in Argentina and Chile on their South American tour this autumn – all the while rabid demand warranted extending the tour to Europe.

Moving Pictures is our most popular album and it’s the one that seems to have passed the test of time most gracefully,” said singer/bassist Lee. “We’re playing better than ever, and I’m not sure we’re quite ready to put that tour away.

Released in 1981, Moving Pictures is the band’s most successful album, certified 4x Platinum and features some of Rush’s most well known songs and perennial radio favourites such as Tom Sawyer, Limelight and the Grammy-nominated instrumental YYZ.

In September 2010, Eagle Vision released “2112 & Moving Pictures – Classic Albums” on both DVD and Blu-ray as part of their celebrated Classic Albums series.

Despite the touring schedule, Rush is currently working on their 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels, with producer Nick Raskulinecz (co-producer from 2007’s Snakes & Arrows). The band has released two new songs from the forthcoming album, BU2B and Caravan (Parts I and II) which are featured live in the Time Machine Tour setlist. Both tracks are available now as digital downloads.

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, the critically-acclaimed documentary created by filmmakers Scot McFadyen & Sam Dunn (whose filmography also includes: “Iron Maiden; Flight 666,’ “Metal, A Headbangers Journey” and “Global Metal”), premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival on April 24th 2010 and won the highly coveted Heineken Audience award. Now available on DVD and blu-ray through Universal Music, the release debuted at No 1 in the USA (a position it held for 10 weeks) and No 2 in the UK.

The documentary features never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with some of today’s most respected rock artists such as Billy Corgan, Taylor Hawkins, Trent Reznor, Sebastian Bach, Kirk Hammett, Jack Black and Gene Simmons.

Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage explores the 40-year career and phenomenon behind what could be the world’s biggest cult band. Directors McFadyen and Dunn embark on a comprehensive exploration of this extraordinary power trio, from their early days in Toronto, through each of their landmark albums, to the present day.

The band was also recently showcased in the comedy “I Love You Man” where they play themselves in a concert scene featuring actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segal as uber-fans, a performance which has exposed the band to a whole new generation.

Inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame this past March alongside Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and the Guess Who, Rush has also been nominated for multiple Grammy awards and won a number of Juno Awards. They were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and bestowed the Order of Canada in 1997. Consistently celebrated and respected worldwide, Rush is the most successful Canadian rock band of all time and they remain one of the biggest grossing arena rock bands ever.

Earlier this month, Rush received the Legends of Live award at the Billboard Touring Awards in New York City. This was followed by Rush receiving the Living Legend award at the 2010 Classic Rock Awards in London (the first time this award has ever been presented to a band, previous recipients include Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper).

The 2011 UK dates in full are as follows:

Sat 14th May               Glasgow SECC

Mon 16th May            Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

Thurs 19th May          Manchester MEN Arena

Sat 21st May               Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

Sun 22nd May             Birmingham LG Arena

Wed 25th May             London O2