Thursday, 21 July 2011

*Paul Simon Clyde Auditorium Glasgow 24th June 2011

Slip Sliding Away .....
Simon gave us an unforgettable evening filled with his heavenly tunes and powerful lyrics. He performed songs from his new album 'So Beautiful So What' as well as songs from his extensive back catalogue.  

There was no support and Simon played for around a full 2 hours.  I was glad that I had arrived on time as the announcer said that Simon would be on in five minutes! 

Simon's set included the songs: The Boy in the Bubble, Dialling home, Sliding Away, So Beautiful So What, Hearts and Bone, Mystery Train, Blind, Only Living Boy in New York, Diamonds on the Souls of her Feet, Questions for the Angels, Sounds of Silence, Born at Last, Here Comes the Sun (George Harrison cover), Crazy Love.  And for his encore 'Still Crazy After All These Years.' 

The two standout moments for me were firstly the opening number ' The Boy in the Bubble' with his full band on top form, and secondly simply Simon and his guitar in the spotlight as he sang 'Sound of Silence'.  Perfect really. While Simon is now seventy his voice sounded wonderful and his band expressed high musicianship as they backed his songs.  On a few songs he was minus guitar when he enjoyed to play and beat time with his arms and hands!  Unusually the set veered from upbeat songs to quieter songs and then upbeat songs again. 

His music displays African gospel, Cajun and Folk influences. His lyrics feel many things - ambiguous and sometimes unsettling; life-affirming, cautious yet hopeful; light and joyful; as well as poignant and introspective.  Simon's lyrics address the deeper concerns of life while there is always a joyousness around them. 

It is not so often we can see an 'icon' perform in the flesh and you could feel the love from the audience. At the finale Simon shook hands with those at the front.
My 'Paul Simon Songbook' was always one of my favourites to play and sing. Many of us remember the song 'Sound of Silence' playing over the opening credits for the film the 'Graduate' film with Dustin Hoffman. After seeing Simon live I now admit to preferring his songs sung by him alone rather than the slightly overdone vocal duets of the 60s by Simon and Garfunkle.

A lovely concert that brought smiles to faces. What a wonderful job to bring joy to peoples hearts....


Paul Simon (b 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.  Simon is best known for his success, beginning in 1965, as part of the duo Simon and Garfunkle. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached number one on the US singles charts, "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs Robinson", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water".  In 1970, the duo split and Simon began a successful solo career, recording three highly-acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music that helped fuel the anti-apartheid movement. Simon has earned 13 Grammys including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006 was selected as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World" by Time magazine.  Among many other honours, Simon was named the first recipient of the Library of Congress's Gerswhin Prize for Popular Song in 2007.