Reviewed by Jan Mellor
“Something about Simon” was described as the story and background of the famous American singer/songwriter Paul Simon delivered to the audience by the extremely talented singer/songwriter Gary Edward Jones. What Gary didn’t want to do was to deliver a tribute to the star but to enable the audience to discover the unique story of the man, through visuals, stage design and of course … the music, and this he did with ease. This charismatic Scouser, comfortable in his home town of Liverpool was welcomed immediately as he opened with a wonderful version of ‘The Sound of Silence’. He had a remarkable resemblance of the star both physically and vocally and with a similar presence and as he continued with the story of how Paul met his true love ‘Kathy’, how he lived in England a while and how he returned to America with his true love. He sang excellent renditions of ‘Kathy’s Song’, ‘I am a Rock’ and ‘Homeward Bound,’ with great stories behind each song and explanations of the stories such as ‘Homeward Bound’ and the truth of whether Paul wrote this at the local Widnes station and how Paul wowed English audiences whilst in a folk club in Chester. He told the stories with passion, humour, dedication and the sheer desire to share with the audience (in the wonderful surroundings of the Epstein Theatre) of how his idol Paul Simon became one of the best singer/song writers in the world.
In the second half Gary moved from the iconic songs of ‘America’, ‘The Boxer’ (Pauls heart rendering song of his split from Kathy) and ‘Mrs Robinson’ to Paul’s very successful solo works of ‘Still crazy after all these years’, ‘Hearts and Bones’ and an amazing version of ‘Graceland’ (using only one guitar to simulate the African backing band single-handedly). Gary also embedded with these classics – the wonderful ‘Paul Simon-esk’ songs he had written himself, the delightful ‘Walking Home’ and the breath-taking ‘Oceans’. The performance ended with Gary setting up his own loop which was very clever and had the audience laughing and amazed as he concluded with ‘Wristband’.
Gary Edward Jones had worked with his small team for over 2 years to accomplish this performance in honour of his idol Paul Simon. From the concept to reality he had produced a truly personal and intimate performance that everyone within the theatre enjoyed and admired. He had delivered a highly skilled performance, 1.5 hours of sheer talent and an enchanting evening of enjoyment.
A sheer talent that portrays wonderfully the story of an icon!
For other shows at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk or call the box office on 0844 888 4411.
Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ | 0844 888 4411