Strings attached

Rubber Soul Live - Strings Attached at Threadgills World HQ

Rubber Soul Live - Strings Attached at Threadgills World HQ

In my continuing quest to discover the Austin music scene I was over at my local corner store the other day picking up and ice and Chocolate milk for my post training recovery bath and I saw poster outside for Rubber Soul Live.

As a Brit. growing up in the 60’s in the UK, the Beatles had a huge influence on my peers and I, my parents played their early music a lot. Since the UK is a lot smaller than Texas, their influence was much bigger and crept into most facets of day to day life. As I started to go to parties and the like in my early teens the new, more orchestrated Beatles Albums we getting played, especially the b-side of Abbey Road. To this day, I still have a penchant for rock, and soul music that contains a good string section, real or electronic. And so it was I found myself Saturday evening at Threadgills for Will Taylor and Strings Attached.

Like most long time music venues in Austin, I know Threadgills World HQ is held in somewhat rarefied company. It was my first time. I have to say it wasn’t what I expected. I got there just before the scheduled start as I’d walked to dinner, and then walked to Threadgills. By the time I got there, the lawn in front of the stage was covered by people sitting in lawn chairs, many had bought their own. I don’t know why I didn’t expect this, after all if you bought a ticket to a mixed rock/orchestrated performance of a Beatles album, you’d be on the lawn at a stately house, like Blenheim Palace, on lawn chairs. And then it struck me, this was sort of an Austin equivalent.

Turns out that the lead singer and sometime guitarist of Strings Attached was the boyfriend of an ex-girlfriend’s friend, Kim. I discovered this when Kim came and sat next to me on the grass at the side of the stage. Just before the show started, Kim spotted the staff putting out some more chairs and we rushed up the back and grabbed two. Smooth move it turns out.

Strings Attached played the full UK Rubber Soul album, in vinyl format. That is, the took a break in the set where you’d normally have to turn the album over. They rounded out the set with I’ve just seen a face, which lead out the US album.

Their sound was rich and clear, not too loud. Not once did I curse that I hadn’t bought my ear plugs. They did their own arrangements of some of the songs, but followed the Beatles originals faithfully on others. Overall they were excellent and as we’d spent the show seated up the back, center stage, we got to see the whole show, which was supported by a brilliant set of projected graphics and film clips. Will Taylor carefully guided the performance, interjecting both musically during the songs, and between songs.

Going in, my favorite track from the original album was Girl, String Attached did good version, with good harmonies and subtle orchestration. However, their version of Michelle had me humming it for the rest of the weekend.

Will Taylor and Strings Attached will be back in September with a series of concerts performing Stevie Wonders Songs in the Key of Life.

2 Comments so far

  1. improv on September 1st, 2008 @ 4:12 am

  2. improv on September 1st, 2008 @ 4:12 am

    Checkout a video of the above show here:

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