Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert

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Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert

The sounds of Simon and Garfunkel defined the sixties, echoing the attitude of a changing generation. Their flawless musicianship and faultless harmonies have cemented their reputation as one of the most successful duos of all time. To celebrate their legacy one of Australia’s most distinguished vocal duos, Mark Shelley and John Robertson, take on the pair’s catalogue of hits in Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert.
“This show is such a pleasure to do,” smiled Shelley, when we caught up ahead of their show at the GPAC on May 9. “It’s a really enjoyable night of great music – we have as much fun performing the show as the audience does. John and I tell jokes and follow up the songs with stories. We love it – we feel quite privileged to play these incredible songs, and we have a fantastic backing band behind us as well. This show is just a joy.”
Shelley and Robertson are veterans of the stage and have been performing together for almost three decades. “John and I have been working together for over 25 years, almost a quarter of a century. We started off when we were [ahem] 25 years younger,” he grinned. “We’ve done everything from theatre, corporate gigs, TV and radio jingles, cruises and session recording. You name it, we’ve done it!
“We jokingly refer to ourselves as the ‘world fameless duo’. We’ve travelled all over the country performing and making friends – it’s been great.”
Worlds apart from the original twosome (who, despite being celebrated for their beautiful harmonies, could barely stand the sight of each other), the onstage chemistry between Shelley and Robertson is delightful. “We’ve been singing together for so long, and like Simon and Garfunkel, a lot of what we do is based on vocal harmonies, so it seemed like a natural step for us to put this show together. That, and the fact that we also both genuinely love Paul Simon’s song writing and both grew-up listening to them – it was really a no-brainer.”
Inspired to re-create the music of Simon and Garfunkel’s reunion concert, back in 1981 at New York’s Central Park, Shelley and Robertson believe their set-list will satisfy even the most discerning folk fans. “You’ll hear ‘Scarborough Fair’, ’The Sound of Silence’ and ‘Mrs Robertson’ – all the favourites. ‘El Condor Pasa’ and of course ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’,” he continued. “But I love ‘Kathy’s Song’ – there’s a real story behind it and the lyrics are so gorgeous. All the songs are incredible.
“The music transports people back in time – I can see it in people’s faces when I look out into the audience. It’s like a blast from the past – the memories come flooding back. I remember sitting cross-legged on the primary school floor and hearing ‘The Boxer’ for the first time. Even at that age, I thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing’.”
Throw on a striped tee or turtleneck and relive the golden age of folk music with two of the country’s finest entertainers as they pay tribute to an era’s original odd couple.
COMPETITION: We have 2x double passes  to give away to the  Capital Show, email your name, email and contact phone to [email protected], with “Simon & Garfunkel Bendigo’ in the subject line. Winners announced 08/05/2015
When & Where: GPAC, Geelong – May 9 & Capital Theatre, Bendigo – May 22
Written by Natalie Rogers