Review: The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Ipswich Regent, February 2nd

The Simon & Garfunkel Story

The Simon & Garfunkel Story - Credit: Archant

It’s unlikely the real Simon & Garfunkel will ever play live again.

For one, they aren’t getting any younger, and if reports are true, they don’t get on that well together anymore.

But, for a superb substitute, go and see the brilliant The Simon & Garfunkel Story, which played at the Ipswich Regent on Friday.

The show starts with a giant projection on the back wall showing a montage of news footage from the 1960s - JFK, Martin Luther King, and protests in aid of civil rights and against the Vietnam War - to give us some context of the turbulent times when these two musicians were plying their genius.

Then its into the story of Simon & Garfunkel’s rise to fame - told with a few words and the wonderful music centre stage.

At times I closed my eyes and it sounded as tight and together as the original recordings, and even when I opened them I had to double-take to make sure I wasn’t watching the real thing - Charles Blyth particularly convincing as Art Garfunkel with his blonde afro and angel’s voice.

Philip Murray Watson as Paul Simon is also excellent - a wonderful guitar player and singer - as were the three supporting members of the band whose playing was of the highest quality and clearly full of passion and love for the music.

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The first half of the show takes us through Simon & Garfunkel’s early folk classics such as Sound of Silence and Homeward Bound before the second half concentrates on the rollcall of timeless songs from their two best known albums Book Ends and Bridge over Troubled Water.

And what tunes they are - Keep the Customer Satisfied had us all up and clapping, I loved Murray Watson’s rendition of The Only Living Boy in New York with the wonderful harmonies and Blyth pulled out all the stops for Bridge over Troubled Water.

This really is a fitting tribute to one of the world’s greatest musical duos.