Ever since I sat down to watch The Graduate I’ve been a fan of Simon and Garfunkel. Their music draws you in, from upbeat tempos to deep and profound ballads, they’re a duo like no other. Last night The Simon and Garfunkel Story came to St David’s Hall in Cardiff and I was super lucky to be able to attend.
Once again, I was unsure what to expect, and as we bustled in I felt a mixture of excitement and apprehension (the latter completely unnecessary!). The stage was set, a large projector screen behind the musicians and a feeling of excitement within the audience.
Then they appeared on stage…
The vibe, the look and the sound all filled me with such joy. I can’t describe how true to the real Simon and Garfunkel they were as they sang, each note, each harmony, perfectly pitched and beautiful. In fact, the only difference I really saw was how they made a couple of songs that little bit more upbeat than the recorded versions I’ve heard.
What I loved most about the performance was the history of Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon. Their story was detailed and interesting, seeing them grow together and apart musically, but seemingly always good friends. I really loved how Charles Blyth (Garfunkel) and Sam O’Hanlon (Simon) interacted and presented themselves on stage. In particular Blyth had Garfunkel’s mannerisms down to a tee and O’Hanlon’s unlimited talent on the guitar left me mesmerised.
Opening with The Sound of Silence, I felt hypnotised by their dulcet tones and this song alone takes me back to a time at University when I’d listen to this song on repeat. The first half introduced me to songs I hadn’t heard before, such as He Was My Brother, and I felt opened up to a new world of music. Their voices were just beautiful, and also effortless, their passion and joy for singing these songs extremely evident.
Other songs performed include I Am A Rock, Kathy’s Song and Cecilia. I’ve always loved the song Cecilia, it has such an upbeat tempo with catchy lyrics and it was amazing to find out the history behind the song, originally recorded with pots and pans! Such a cool story, right?!
I also adored Mrs Robinson, of course! It was great seeing the black and white photographs of the movie on the screen in the background. I loved the use of the screen, it spanned the decades and reminded me of the past, from The Beatles to Marilyn Monroe. I also felt it was a stark reminder of where we should be in the world, and how much society is, in some parts, failing. The harsh realities of the past, such as the K.K.K and segregated life according to skin colour, really brought home this feeling of how ignorance is still a major factor in this world, and how it needs to end.
For me, this performance wasn’t just about music, it was about a time gone by, a time we should have learnt from, a time when people died for peace. I really feel the music portrayed this feeling of hope, the feeling of a better future for everyone.
The end of the show was outstanding, with A Bridge Over Troubled Water resonating on so many levels. It was a stunning performance, and Blyth’s voice was beautifully hypnotic. There was such a rare quality to his voice, much like Garfunkel’s and I felt pretty much mesmerised by it. They finished with The Boxer, and the crowd was amazing, bopping in their seats and humming along… and at the end, of course, there was a standing ovation.
Blyth and O’Hanlon were faultless and they both poured their hearts and souls into the performance. I think their chemistry is pretty evident too, making the performance even more wholesome. When I left the show I just wanted to go home and play records, watch old movies and get lost in the hope of the past.
Disclosure: I received tickets in exchange for review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.