The Simon & Garfunkel Story at The Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

Posted on 5 September 2015
By Jeanette Smith
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It was a night of nostalgia for music fans when The Simon and Garfunkel Story came to the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton for two nights after a sell out success in the West End.

Dean Elliott as Paul Simon and Joe Sterling as Art Garfunkel were spot on as the two iconic songsters of the 1960s who made such world-wide hits as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Mrs Robinson and The Sound of Silence.
As a back drop to this run down memory lane there were black and white snaps of the two of them in their day, interspersed with images from the era, Kennedy, the space race, and racial tension.

This set the tone for what was an anthology of their oeuvre, with Sterling’s pure voice matching that of Elliott’s tonal force. The harmonies gelled superbly and with Elliott’s brilliant guitar playing one could almost imagine you were actually there at their Central Park concert.

I say almost, because although this show told the story of the rise and disintegration of Simon and Garfunkel, with the two ‘stars’ as narrators, there seemed to be a bit of ebb and flow in the production. The show was a kind of slow burn with the first half only just warming up the audience. It wasn’t until well into the second half that the duo seemed to have the audience on side.

But once they did it was lift off, with people clapping and mouthing along to the well-known words. With an accomplished backing trio of Murray Gardiner on keyboards, Leon Camfield on bass and Josh Powell on drums this should have been a wow of a show, but the momentum was sometimes stilled, especially when we heard a strange audio of old people in a home just before Old Friends.

What this show does do is to give you, however, is a comprehensive panorama of the two friend’s brief career which spanned only a few years in actuality but seems to have lasted much longer. We have the details of how they met and how they worked and how they fell out. We also have the gamut of songs, well known and not so well known, that marked their career.

It was nice to hear the hits, but it was also good to hear those songs that only true aficionados would know. It gives one a sense of their over-arching brilliance in the work they put out, from rock to folk to experimental psychedelia.
The show comes to Liverpool next year. So, if you missed it, catch it there.

The Simon Garfunkel Story
New Brighton Floral Pavilion
September 3
Cast: Dean Elliott, Joe Sterling
Purple Revolver Rating: 3.5