REVIEW: The Simon and Garfunkel Story, Kings Theatre, Southsea

The Simon and Garfunkel Story        PICTURE BY ASHTON PHOTOGRAPHY
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Club Scene with Sam Cherry

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Pure, clear and sincere, a loving tribute to one of the world’s greatest musical duos.

Dean Elliot as Paul Simon and Jonny Smart as Art Garfunkel perfectly captured the pair’s deft harmonies and vocal blending.

Ably accompanied by a three-piece band, Paul and Art told the story of their early friendship, starting out as pop combo Tom and Jerry as teenagers.

They became darlings of the New York folk/rock scene in the early 1960s, and worked their way up to world stardom providing part of the soundtrack of that turbulent decade.

The story was woven between songs, with video projections and background images conjuring up the atmosphere of the times.

Particularly effective was the juxtaposition of the sweetly winsome Scarborough Fair with footage of the Vietnam War, race riots, JFK, the KKK and peace demos.

The greatest hits were all accounted for: Sound of Silence, I Am A Rock, Homeward Bound, Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, America, Old Friends, The Boxer and the 59th St Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

But there were lesser-known songs too, showing the breadth of the duo’s output - The Dangling Conversation was a particular gem.

A musical interlude even covered the solo years - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Graceland and more woven into a neat package leading into a segment recalling the Central Park reunion show.

But, of course, the towering moment was Bridge Over Troubled Water, an astonishing performance, particularly from Jonny Smart as Art.

A must for fans, an education to the uninitiated, this is a tribute show made with true respect for the music - and the audience.