thu 17/10/2019

Paul Simon, Hammersmith Apollo | reviews, news & interviews

Paul Simon, Hammersmith Apollo

Paul Simon, Hammersmith Apollo

A rousing rescheduled show from the veteran and his peerless band

Paul Simon: From weariness to wonder

Paul Simon is now nearly 70 years old and as he walked onto the Hammersmith Apollo stage last night it struck me that he is beginning to look like the little old man he will eventually become: still nimble, enviably trim, but nevertheless, he was noticeably older and more fragile-looking than when I last saw him five years ago. The second thing that struck me was a certain weariness in the opening songs - a mechanical quality to the playing, and a concomitantly flat atmosphere. The opening song, “Crazy Love Vol II”, was ploddy, while “Dazzling Blue”, from his new So Beautiful or So What album, just seemed listless. It was not an auspicious start to a show that had been rescheduled from the previous night after an unwell Simon had been on doctor’s orders to rest his voice.

What the crowd wanted to hear, judging by their reaction, was the solo stuff, the Graceland greats

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I had an opportunity to go to the gig and although I know a number of Paul Simon songs (who doesn't?) I'm not a hardcore fan. I've never been to a gig before where the quality of musicianship from everyone and the quality of the mix was so good. Yes Paul Simon was amazing, but his musicians really made it for him and added so many interesting dimensions to his songs. He is a song writing genius, but his musicians as a group made his songs sing.

Shame we were not able to see him in Bournemouth, where he cancelled due to illness and is not rescheduling apparently 4000 fans abandoned at a half hour's notice, many having travelled a long way, booked accommodation, paid for parking et

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