Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Reviewed by Nikki Cotter
Gary Edward Jones has one of those rich, warm voices you could happily listen to for hours; gentle, melodic and comforting he is a natural storyteller who has channeled his passion for performance into a real labour of love.
Often told he bears a resemblance to the legend that is Paul Simon, Jones decided three years ago there could be something special for audiences in an evening of music and storytelling punctuated with well crafted delivery and so Something About Simon was born.
Partnering up with musical director Jon Fellowes and communications director Bill Elms the trio have produced a piece that’s been touring the UK to great acclaim ahead of its current Edinburgh Fringe run.
Elfin Bow’s simple set sets the scene nicely, there are two microphones and four large black and white cut-outs: a reel to reel tape recorder, a gramma phone, an ABC TV camera and a railway bench.
Jones launches into the instantly recognisable Sound of Silence to open the show; from the off he delivers a masterclass in musicianship as he interweaves anecdotes and stories about the legendary singer with beautifully delivered pitch perfect renditions of fan favourites as well as offering audiences an opportunity to hear some lesser known pieces.
Jones expertly guides us through Paul Simon’s musical journey from learning his craft in the folk clubs of North West England, his strained relationship with long term musical partner Art Garfunkel as well as his turbulent marriage to Carrie Fisher. Witty and warm Jones drops in little nuggets about his own life and love for music along the way.
With each different song comes a guitar change allowing further opportunity for Jones’ musical talents to shine as he strums and plucks complex rhythms with ease.
The second mic which has remained unused for the majority of the show: a nod perhaps to Art Garfunkel takes centre stage during final song ‘Wristband’ which Jones delivers with his own unique twist giving a fascinating example of how he uses technology to build up layers of the song through recording rhythms, beats and beautiful harmonies.
Something About Simon is a hour of great entertainment, beautifully delivered music paired with Jones’ natural warmth and clear affection for the songs translates into an uplifting and engaging piece. It feels a little like a big hug on a cold day, comforting, welcoming and entirely uplifting.
Catch Something About Simon at Edinburgh’s Assembly George Square Studios until 26th August tickets available here.