Simon & Garfunkel: Through The Years

Pulling up a stool in front of the intimate, softly lit stage down in the basement of Komedia, reminiscent of so many NYC music venues, the audience and I settled in to enjoy the iconic songs of Simon & Garfunkel. However this was more than just a tribute act, what duo Bookends have done is just that little bit more special.

Harmonies are tight and from the early lines of I am a Rock a hushed surprise creeps across the room

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met at college, just like duo Dan Haynes and Pete Richards, who formed Bookends as a tribute to Simon & Garfunkel. I hesitate to guess at how many thousands of hours must have gone into honing their sound since, but the outcome is almost indistinguishable from the original. Harmonies are tight and from the early lines of I am a Rock a hushed surprise creeps across the room. The catalogue of Simon & Garfunkel is both vast and beloved allowing Haynes and Richards to create a set guaranteed to please. They even throw in a nod to Simon & Garfunkel’s early work with Hey Schoolgirl, a teenage hit the duo had whilst playing under the name Tom and Jerry, before moving onto the soul-tugging folk that made their name with Kathy's Song, Sparrow and the wistful Homeward Bound.

Playing in front of screens displaying original photos and voiceovers documenting the history of the act, the show narrates the journey of Simon & Garfunkel: Through The Years. The backing voiceovers have some interesting snippets in them but I preferred the more natural story telling of Haynes and Richards between their songs. With a warm and subtle stage presence, they would have done well to ditch the voiceovers and narrate the laid back, mini-music lectures themselves. All credit should be given to the duo for doing their homework and their were plenty of obscure facts on offer, such as the trivia that Homeward Bound was written in the concourse on Widnes train station. Whilst fans of Simon & Garfunkel might have wished deeper analysis, for an intimate gig atmosphere, this went down well.

Bookends haven't attempted a look-a-like act and, eschewing questionable wigs, they have opted to perform a tribute to the music they love, intelligently deciding what they can and can’t do. A lack of piano skills forced a re-arranged version of Bridge over Troubled Water, which sounds as though it should be all kinds of wrong, however it was a gorgeous achievement. Other highlights included Richard Corey, delivered with a pleasing amount of grit and particularly welcome as it often gets missed from sets, having never been released as a single.

There was a lot of love in the room for the songs and two duos at the center of this show. It's a comforting, blissful way to spend an evening.

Reviews by Julia French

Rialto Theatre

The Death of Ivan Ilyich

★★★
Sweet Werks 1

Antigone Alone

★★★★★
Latest Music Bar

Quiz Night: The Musical

★★★
Sweet Dukebox

The O.S. Map Fan Club

★★
The Warren: The Hat

Persuasion

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A moving and powerful live performance and multimedia show, taking a chronological journey through the friendship and career of Simon & Garfunkel.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

My Fair Lady

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets