Still Feeling Groovy After All This Time?

The Simon and Garfunkel Story

Theatre Severn

25th September 2018

 

The most significant aspect of the peace loving Sixties was the fact that before and since the changes between the decades had been incremental at best but in truth barely noticeable. From the un-expectant wings on the stage of humanity the Sixties exploded like a rampant troubadour with its poetry, it’s peaceful doctrines and its new found liberty. This change was in the air, now here’s the rub, it was these changes that re-invented us all as human beings and the far reaching effects of that movement are with us still. Of course that’s more to do with the psychology of the Sixties, the fabric was the music. Iconic songs were popping up like daffodils in Spring and our lives were different for ever.

Everyone is aware of the musicians that made a difference, we all know their names. Whether one might have suggested Simon and Garfunkel as an instant sound of the sixties might be unlikely. That is unless you have seen the guys in, The Simon and Garfunkel Story.

Simon and Charles both looking spitting image of Simon and Garfunkel and flanked some fantastically talented musicians; sing their way through the back pages of S&G adding facts and fascinating video clips from that by gone time.

But one cannot say this is a nostalgia show, it’s not. Some of the audience might have been a little nostalgic but the truth is, this band is too fresh and too crisp and the music they are playing is just as relevant as it were written this morning at Breakfast. That is the hallmark of good songs and Paul  Simon may well be the greatest songwriter of the common era. I would defy anyone to say he isn’t up there with them, if not leading them. But so many of their songs have fallen into the back of one’s mind and to hear them again was like shining a torch in the dark attic and seeing the light. Song after song like, Baby Driver, Kathy’s Song and Bookends, not in the forefront of one’s mind not in the daily psyche, as such: However the second you hear the opening line you realise Simon wrote so, so many brilliant songs. Unassuming and modest was the trade mark of both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel and these two guys, Charles and Simon nailed it completely.

One is aware that Charles who sang Garfunkel’s part has studied the man to perfection and one can see Art Garfunkel standing right there in front of us. It isn’t this bands intention to pretend to be them, change their accents to match or steal their thunder in anyway. But what these boys do so expertly is deliver Simon and Garfunkel how people loved to hear them being sung. After all if you went to hear Beethoven’s Fifth and some added their own take until it sounded nothing like it at all you would be clamouring for your money back. This music has the same status and the best way one can hear it being done in Britain, is to get to see these guys. They appear to be prolific tourers.

One is very sparing with ovations if you keep doing them they are hollow and meaningless but following Bridge over Troubled Water, this reviewer involuntarily sprang to his feet with tears of emotion on one’s cheeks. I have never ever been moved so much by a musical performance ever anywhere. It was beautiful and probably alone made the ticket price worth it.

But that said each song was delivered with the skill and poignancy of the mighty two and note for perfect note the audience were entertained with a full two hours of this beautiful American Folk music.

This is an enthralling show with a little bit of everything. Fascinating film clips of iconic happenings of the Nineteen Sixties. Quite apart from the musical and fashion impact the Sixties was about change in so many ways. A man on the moon, a phone in almost every house, cars , TV and washing machines all reared their heads in the decade that changed a world. The film clips skilfully reflect all these aspects.

This is a great night out. The two boys are magnificent as is their material: just breath taking. Isn’t it funny that the decade that changed the world and introduced the concept of Hippiness, Free-Love and Liberty should all have happened with a backdrop of the cruellest, harshest and most pointless wars of all time; coincidence? One doubts that!!

This is a Four Star Review

Owen J. Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. Follow hos blogspot at https://owenscribblerlewis.blogspot.com

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