PLASTIC SOUL is definitely not your stereotypical "Beatles" band. Shunning the wigs, costumes, impersonations and slavish adherence to studio recordings favored by most tributes, the Central New York-based group is distinguished by its unusually hard-edged approach to the music, designed to evoke the energy and excitement of the Beatles as a live rock and roll band. Most intriguing, perhaps, is that they have rather audaciously chosen to perform the songs of the Fab Four with just three musicians . . .
The group's current lineup dates to May 2003, when guitarist Mark Barnes and bassist John Smales recruited multi-instrumentalist and singer Jon Liebing to join them on the drums for a set of Beatles music at a local benefit show.
Mark had been honing a repertoire of Lennon-McCartney-Harrison tunes with the goal of forming a tribute band since returning from a trip to England in August 2001, a journey which included a visit to the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool. In early 2002, he found a kindred spirit in John Smales, a guitarist and singer who shared both a passion for the Beatles' songs and strong opinions as to how they should be performed live. Within a short time, John bought a Hofner "violin" bass guitar and put himself to the daunting task of learning Paul McCartney's melodic bass lines.