Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years returned to the Festival Theatre tonight, with Dan Haynes and Pete Richards performing to their largest audience so far (over 1500 people).
Dan opened the show with a solo spot, performing some of the songs from his new “Songwriters” show, which will highlight some of the songwriters who have influenced Dan, and also some of his own work. Tonight’s opening number was Dan’s version of “Here Comes the Sun”, which set the high standard for the rest of the all too short set.
Dan and Pete perform together under the name of “Bookends”, and tonight were joined on stage by Jonny Knight on guitar and piano, and Adam Handford on bass. Right from the start, with The 59th Street Bridge Song (better known as Feelin’ Groovy), the audience were loving it, with spontaneous applause, cheers, and clapping to the music throughout the 90 minute performance. As always, the show stuck to the format of telling the story of Simon & Garfunkel through archive film, with Dan and Pete’s beautiful voices and harmonies bringing their songs to life. There were a few less well-known songs included tonight, such as “A Most Peculiar Man” and “Leaves that are Green”, but all the Simon & Garfunkel classics of course were there too, from the sing-along greats like Cecilia and Mrs Robinson to the beautiful Sound of Silence.
The highlight of the show was the sublime stripped-back version of Bridge Over Troubled Water with Pete on vocals and Jonny on piano. You could almost hear the audience holding its breath until the last note, when the applause and cheering was the loudest of the evening.
Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years has seen Dan Haynes and Pete Richards grow through the years too, and every year they seem to gain more fans. What never changes though is their warmth and likeability, as well as their tremendous talent, which brings people back to see them again and again.
Review by Lisa Sibbald