In Concert: An Intimate Evening With Art Garfunkel, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

“I wasn’t always this way,” joked Art Garfunkel as he took to the stage of St David’s Hall on Thursday evening, but the singing legend who suffered a severe voice paralysis attack four years ago, boldly promised his audience “The heart is still young, but the voice is back!”

Accompanied by guitarist Tad Lavin, the pair presented an intimate two hour show featuring a large selection of classics from the Simon & Garfunkel back catalogue as well as some of Garfunkel’s own solo material embellished with original poetry and anecdotes from his forthcoming autobiography.

Garfunkel’s voice might have seemed vulnerable in places but this improved with rapid speed after the first few numbers as he responded to the warmth and encouragement the Cardiff audience were giving him.

Highlights included the Paul Simon composition The Side of the Hill, a song that was later reworked by Garfunkel to accompany the vocal refrain for Scarborough Fair of which he also performed commenting “It’s taken me all my life to figure out what the words of Scarborough Fair mean. I think it’s about loss.”

The second half saw Garfunkel pay homage to his idols The Everly Brothers and was joined on stage by his son Art Jr to give a harmonious performance of Devoted to You before Art Jr captivated the audience with a solo rendition of Charles Chaplin’s Smile.

Following a beautiful performance of For Emily Wherever I May Find Her, there was an encore described by Garfunkel as “a workshop” which featured a poignant rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Indeed, Garfunkel had overcome a few hurdles on his journey back to live performances, as this show proved, he’s come a along way and still gives joy to many generations, long may that continue!

  • A version of this review by Andy Howells was also published in The South Wales Argus

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