Review: The Simon and Garfunkel Story, Portsmouth Guildhall

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Victor Ariat

Smooth sailing for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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This didn’t always sound exactly like Simon and Garfunkel - and I mean that in every way as a compliment.

Rather than simply parrot folk’s greatest duo, Gregory Clarke and Joe Sterling find their own harmonies and rhythms as they work through a wonderful song catalogue.

Apart from a brief instrumental medley, this is not a show about the individual hits of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, but rather a homage to the collective works of the school friends from their start as Tom and Jerry and a teen jigle called Hey Schoolgirl until, 25 years later, their celebrated reunion concert before 500,000 fans in New York’s Central Park.

Joe Sterling’s evocative voice came to the fore with the recreation of Bridge Over Troubled Water from that memorable gig, and the guitar-playing virtuosity of Gregory Clarke - cleary enjoying appearing before his home-town crowd - shone again as the duo ended with The Boxer.

The appreciative audience had been treated to a captivating collection of the duo’s varied songs against a backdrop slideshow of iconic images from the era. The real Simon and Garfunkel sang about keeping the customer satisfied. Their dopplegangers certainly did that at the Guildhall.