Simon and Garfunkel tribute at The Grand breaks Sound of Silence

Tony Dewhurst looks at the legend of folk-rock duo Simon and Garfunkel ahead of a 50th anniversary tribute show. (s)
Tony Dewhurst looks at the legend of folk-rock duo Simon and Garfunkel ahead of a 50th anniversary tribute show. (s)
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Simon and Garfunkel wrote about the issues that matter to them, their experiences and cares, and pushed that out in their classic songs Mrs Robinson, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Cecilia.

“When you hear those iconic, timeless songs, the words speak to you, like Lennon and McCartney did with The Beatles,” said Dean Elliott, the director of the Simon and Garfunkel 50th Anniversary Story.

The show tells of the duo’s rise from school friends in New York, teenage rock act Tom and Jerry, to global mega-stardom.

“Paul Simon is one of the greatest writers of all time, and as they did a lot of their writing in the 1960s and 70s, a huge era of social and political change in America, we bring that to life in the show,” said Elliott.

“When we set out I thought it might last a few months, but we’ve been seen by one quarter of a million people and played in 49 countries, which is insane.”

A projection screen will have groovy sixties images, newsreels and footage, ensuring a nostalgic trip in more ways than one.

Their greatest hits are sung by copyists Charles Blyth - Blyth sporting Garfunkel’s trademark waistcoat and polo neck - and Sam O’Hanlon as Simon.

Mrs Robinson has a clip from the movie of the same name, with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft.

But above all, it reminds you of just how many great songs they produced.

“It is not a tribute show, or a musical, so it has appealed to a broad audience.

“The story is for everyone, not just for the fans,” added Elliott.

It ends with a stage recreation of the 1981 Central Park concert in New York.

“For many it was the show marking the end of their career together. What a legacy of musical craft.

“We went to see Simon play this summer and his last song was a solo version of The Sound of Silence.

“We know Paul Simon is aware of our show and has given it his blessing.

“However, I’d be stunned if Simon and Garfunkel ever got back together again.”

Clitheroe Grand, October 12. 01200 421599. www.thegrandvenue.co.uk