On the face of it, this is a one-man show by the very talented singer-songwriter Gary Edward Jones. Things are often not as simple as they look on the surface, and this in fact is as a cleverly produced show with a professional sound system, graphics and a beautifully synchronised video backing.
The show is a well-scripted narrative about the early songs of Paul Simon, taking in some of the history of his working relationship with Art Garfunkel.
Gary Edward Jones told the story behind the lyrics – including “Homeward Bound”, “Cathy’s Song”, “The Boxer”. I would guess that for many people in the audience, these songs were the background music to their youth.
When performing the songs, Gary Edward Jones did not attempt to imitate Paul Simon, but gave his own interpretation. However, his version was close enough to the original that at times it was hard to refrain from joining in on the more familiar lines.
Listening to the narrative, it was easy to detect that this was not an impersonation – Gary Edward Jones is from Liverpool!
My only criticism of the show is that the music was often over-amplified. This was something of distraction in the more reflective numbers – “Bridge over Troubles Waters” should (in my opinion) be performed quietly.
I don’t think I was alone in feeling that time passed quickly – in fact the show is 60 minutes long. There have been a few fringe shows where I have observed audience members sneaking glances at watches (or even phones) – none of that with this one.
If you are a fan of Paul Simon’s, I urge you to try to catch this show. Even if you are not that familiar with his music (is there anyone who doesn’t know the old classics?) this is a very enjoyable hour of entertainment.