Posted: 25 Sep 2015
“I used to
think a century was a long time, but some of these songs are half a century
old,” commented Art Garfunkel. In fact he did as much talking as singing in a
90-minute performance before a most reverent audience at The Sage.
Garfunkel’s pure voice provided the perfect conduit for many of Paul Simon’s
classic songs during the heyday of Simon and Garfunkel, but cruelly Art
suffered serious voice paralysis four years ago and feels he is now largely
“The voice is back”, he proclaimed early on, but unfortunately the honest
answer is, “No it isn’t – not really.”
he will turn 74 in November it would be unrealistic to dream of Garfunkel’s
voice being as crystal clear as the recordings that made his name. Art did his
best to perform a range of solo material, covers of favourites by people such
as The Everly Brothers and of course some Simon & Garfunkel classics.
Some of his
prose-poetry introductions segued seamlessly into the songs, none more so than
the tale of a young Paul Simon driving over to Garfunkel’s grim New York
kitchen to sing what he’d told he believed was his best song yet, as he moved
into a blissful ‘Sound of Silence.’
Bound’, ‘Scarborough Fair’, ‘Bright Eyes’ and ’99 Miles from LA’ were all on
the set-list for those ticking off the classics. Of course, ‘Bridge Over
Troubled Water’ stands out as the greatest masterpiece and in a careful and
clever arrangement, that spared him attempting the highest notes, a tastefully
textured performance was delivered.
I saw Paul
Simon perform a quarter of a century ago, but never Art Garfunkel until now.
I’m pleased I finally have, but ultimately I felt I’d seen him rather than
hearing him at his best.