Review: ‘The Simon & Garfunkel Story’, Burnley Mechanics

'The Simon & Garkunkel Story': catch it if you can!

'The Simon & Garkunkel Story': catch it if you can!

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Critics have described Shakespeare as “a man for all time”: could Simon and Garfunkel be his musical equivalent?

I’m too young to have enjoyed the talented folk/rock duo in their heyday of the 1960s and 70s but once I’d heard their Concert in Central Park album in the early 1980s I was hooked. While my school pals were donning frilled shirts and getting into the whole New Romantic scene, I was contemplating “The Sound of Silence” and “Scarborough Fair”,

To see Simon & Garfunkel perform live (if they were ever to contemplate getting together again from their solo careers) would be high on my bucket list but I’m happy to have enjoyed a good second, “The Simon & Garfunkel Story” at Burnley Mechanics.

Taking the best of the tribute band genre and mixing it with powerful images and stories of the times that shaped the pair’s songwriting, “The Simon & Garfunkel Story” brings to life the lyrics and melodies that helped to shape a generation and propel the duo to fame.

Dean Elliott brings a charismatic energy to the role of Paul Simon and conveys the songwriter’s passion well while

Jonny Smart’s casual mannerisms and aloof assurance create a convincing Art Garfunkel and, yes, he is greatly helped by a mop of curly blond hair and a winning smile.

A great backing band of Leon Camfield, Josh Powell and Murray Gardinar create the rhythms and counter rhyme so important to Simon & Garfunkel tracks.

It’s a fascinating tale of how two young boys from New York went on to become the world’s most successful music duo of all time, from their 1950s rock n roll days as Tom & Jerry to the legendary 1981 Central Park reunion concert, this is a show for Simon & Garfunkel fans old and new.

All the old favourites were there (as well as some early songs I was hearing for the first time), from “Mrs Robinson” to “Cecelia”, calling at all stations including “Homeward Bound” and “The Sound of Silence” and ending with the compelling “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, during which you could hear a pin drop in the theatre, and “The Boxer”.

The standing ovation at the end of this impressive show was a given as soon as the final note faded from the very first song.

Fancy catching this show? They’re in the middle of a huge tour that’s even going to take them to Belgium. Find out where they’re playing here: www.thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com.

What else is coming up at the Mechanics? Find out here:http://www.burnleymechanics.co.uk