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Review: Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014


Folk duo Bookends, made up of Dan Haynes and Pete Richards, pay homage to one of the greatest pairings in modern folk music with this heartfelt, competent and surprisingly multi-layered show. Haynes and Richards elevate themselves from typical tribute acts by stating, clearly and definitely, that they are paying tribute to the music, not the men (a decision they attribute to their complete lack of physical similarity to Simon and Garfunkel).

On the surface of it this is a stunning musical tribute. Haynes and Richards hit the harmonies and tender spirit of the original songs spot on and create an authentic Simon and Garfunkel experience. Haynes' guitar playing is skilled and astute and in Richards he has found a voice that perfectly fits into his own, lending strength to their interpretation of the two voices which, at the time, created the most successful album in history.

However, beneath their skilled musicianship is a story that parallels Simon and Garfunkel's and adds a depth to the show which other tributes lack. Much like the original duo, Haynes and Richards met in secondary school, started singing and playing together early on, struggled through folk clubs, disbanded for a period and then triumphantly reconvened. This show, whether they're aware of it or not, is as much about Haynes and Richards as it is Simon and Garfunkel. Their passion for music is clear and their want to share these songs, which mean so much to them, is palpable and alluring.

Simon & Garfunkel Through The Years is a warming and beautiful journey through the lives of four musicians - Simon, Garfunkel, Haynes and Richards. Furthermore, Haynes and Richards’ rearrangement of Bridge Over Troubled Water is worth going for if nothing else.

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