10 November 2015
Reviewed by Norman Totton
Being big Simon & Garfunkel fans, my father-in-law and I were delighted to be invited along to see the Simon & Garfunkel Story at St George’s Hall in Bradford.
We have seen a number of productions at this theatre, and have always found the venue to be fabulously clean, with helpful and friendly staff. Tonight was no exception. Parking is a doddle, just across the road from the theatre, and discounted parking is available for theatre patrons.
Authentic and exciting, amazing, enchanting, simply incredible, these are just some of the accolades bestowed on the band of musicians who make up The Simon & Garfunkel Story and I couldn’t disagree with any of them. I and the audience were treated to an evening of sheer enjoyment as we relived the days of our musical youth. I have enjoyed going to see many tribute bands over the years; some good, some not so good, but I had never heard of this band prior to getting the tickets to see them. I am so pleased I’ve now put that right.
As the name suggests, the concert is a story, the musical story of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, from their childhood days growing up as neighbours, releasing their first record ‘Hey, Schoolgirl’ at only 16 years of age and which sold around 100,000 copies, to the multi-million selling artists they became with such songs as Bridge Over Troubled Water which stayed as the best-selling album for 3 years, then on to the distressing break-up of the hugely talented pair.
The concert backdrop was an interweaving series of mostly black and white grainy images showing scenes of the folk, pop and rock cultures together with clashes at the civil rights marches, the bombing of Vietnam and the killing of JFK. All through these images the music kept on coming: Sound of Silence, I am a Rock, Mrs Robinson, America and Homeward Bound (written on Widnes Train Station platform while Paul was on an early solo tour) to name but a few.
The two front men, Dean Elliott as Paul Simon and Joe Sterling as Art Garfunkel were outstanding in their roles. The excitement, the joy of performing such wonderful music was clear and showed in the friendly interaction and beautiful harmonies between them. Their backing musicians were Leon Camfield on Bass, Josh Powell on Drums and Murray Gardiner on lead guitar, acoustic guitar and keyboards to name a few of his talents.
From the opening bars of the first song of the night, Hey, Schoolgirl right through to the closing notes of the last song of the evening, the Boxer, the audience were rapturous in their applause and rightly so. The Simon & Garfunkel Story was superb and I can heartily recommend everyone to go see it at their nearest venue.
The Simon & Garfunkel Story is currently touring the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com.
For other shows at St George’s Hall in Bradford visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk.
St George’s Hall. Bridge St, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1JT | 01274 432000