Paul Simon London Palladium 12th December 1975
I first saw Paul Simon in the historic surroundings of the London Palladium in December 1975. He had just released his fourth solo album “Still Crazy After All These Years” and I went with my friend Ian. We bought day returns and went down to London by train, catching the midnight train home after the concert. Paul had just released a single from the album, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” was a No 1 hit in the US, but only reached No 23 in the UK singles charts. The concert was the second of four nights at the Palladium. He also played a concert in Birmingham and in Manchester. Simon played songs from “Still Crazy After All These Years”, plus several Simon and Garfunkel classics. I remember that we both really enjoyed the concert, and that he finished with “Sound of Silence”, which has always been my favourite of his songs.
Penny Valentine reviewed the concert for Street Life at the time and described Paul Simon as “immaculate”, commenting on how the audience “checked their coats neatly and queued neatly afterwards to get them. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d ordered interval tea like a matinee crowd. They had come to pay homage. They did it through three encores then they quietly left. It was a very polite evening.”
Based on published setlists from the period, it is likely that the set was something like this:
Set 1: America. Duncan, Something So Right, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Loves Me Like a Rock, Some Folks´ Lives Roll Easy, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Me & Julio Down By the Schoolyard, Homeward Bound, Mother & Child Reunion, I Do It For Your Love, You´re Kind, Bluesette
Set 2: Have A Good Time, Still Crazy After All These Years, My Little Town, The Boxer, Mrs. Robinson, Gone at Last, American Tune, The Sound of Silence
Paul Simon’s band: Steve Gadd (drums), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Richard Tee (piano), Tony Levin (bass), Michael Brecker (sax), Hugh McCracken (guitar), Toots Thielemans (harmonica), Jessy Dixon and possibly Phoebe Snow (vocals).
Archive for the ‘Paul Simon’ Category
Paul Simon London Palladium 12th December 1975
Simon and Garfunkel Wembley Stadium 19th June 1982
I never thought I’d get the chance to see Simon and Garfunkel in concert. I’d seen Paul Simon once at a concert in the London Palladium in the 1970s, but felt that the chance of a reunion with Art Garfunkel was slim. However, Simon and Garfunkel did reunite for a free concert in New York City’s Central Park on September 19, 1981. The Central Park concert was attended by over 500,000 people, a recording of it was released as a live album, and the duo then went on to go on a world tour in 1982–83, including a performance at London in June 1982. This was a great concert, with Paul and Art singing all their classic hits, along with a couple of Paul Simon solo songs, Art Garfunkel’s “Bright Eyes” and a nod to their influences in the form of a couple of Everly Brothers’ songs. At the time I thought it strange going to see a folk-based act in a vast stadium, and wondered if the songs would get lost in such a vast venue. I needn’t have worried. The beauty and power of those simple songs transfixed the crowd of 72,000 people. The stage set was similar to the Central Park concert, and as far as I recall, there was no support act.
Setlist: Mrs. Robinson; Homeward Bound; America; Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard; Scarborough Fair; My Little Town; Wake Up Little Susie; Still Crazy After All These Years; Bright Eyes; Late In The Evening; Slip, Sliding Away; El Condor Pasa; American Tune; The Late Great Johnny Ace; Kodachrome/Mabellene; Bridge Over Troubled Water; The Boxer; Old Friends/Bookends; 59th Street Bridge Song; Cecilia; Sounds Of Silence; All I Have To Do Is Dream
I’ve taken a long time to get round to writing anything about this Glastonbury; I seem to have been catching up on things at work and home since we got back.
We (Me, Marie, Laura and David) all made the journey to Pilton Farm this year, again hiring a campervan. This year’s weather was quite a bit different from last year, with lots of rain earlier in the week, making the site very muddy. Our van got stuck deep in the mud on arrival and, after lots of pushes from staff and others, we were finally towed into the field by a giant tractor. As last year, we studied the clashfinder and made lots of plans of who we were all going to see; however the reality was very difficult, with the mud making it very difficult to make great trecks across the whole site from stage to stage. I’d particularly wanted to see the old-timers on the 71 stage, but in the event, didn’t get much of a chance to do so.
Friday was pretty wet and all of the walkways were deep in mood. It was really hard work walking through the mud which was very sticky; wellies were coming off and people were falling over…..
71 stage: managed to wander over through the mud and saw Martin Stone playing some pretty solid blues/rock. David was over there earlier and caught Noel Harrison singing Windmills of my Mind.
B B King: Some great guitar from a legend. Much better than I thought he might be.
Radiohead: Laura and David went over to the Park stage to see Radiohead do their special guest spot. They returned quite disappointed; apparently the sound wasn’t great, and the set focussed on the more recent albums.
Morrissey: Marie and I watched Morrissey’s set while David and Laura were at the Park seeing Radiohead. He was pretty good, although he didn’t seem in a great mood, telling the crowd “I know you’re all waiting for U2; I’ll sing fast”
U2: By now the rain was really coming down. The set had a good selection of old favourites, and Bono was out to impress. Fraid the rain got the better of us in the end, and we retired to the van.
Saturday was much better weather wise with no rain at all. The mud was drying out, but still very deep and sticky on the walkways over to the Other Stage and Arcadia.
Pulp: The highlight for us. When we heard Pulp were reforming I promised Laura (and myself) that we must see them. So when we heard that they might be Saturday’s special guest at the Park stage, we had to go over and see. And Javis and crew didn’t let us down. The field was rammed; they had to close the gates. Everyone was singing along, and I was surprised how many songs I knew. Started with Do You Remember the First Time? The whole field went mental and sang Disco 2000 and Common People like their lives depended on it.
Coldplay: OK; not my favourite band but seemed to go down well with the crowd.
Chemical Brothers: Laura and David went across to the Other Stage for The Chemical Brothers and seemed to have a great time too.
Sunday was red hot.
The Wombles: This was the highlight for Laura. Mike Batt and co played Avalon in their suits. Started with Remember you’re a Womble and finished with the Wombling Song. The tent was packed; everyone determined to have a great sing-a-long. Shame we missed out on getting a Wombles mask, but Laura bought a t-shirt.
Paul Simon: A good set.
Beyonce: I just didn’t get this. Laura thought she was great, but Marie and I weren’t too impressed. Yet when I got home, the first thing everyone I saw said to me was “did you see Beyonce?” and then told me how great she was on the TV coverage. It seems to me that it may have looked better on TV than from the field itself. Everyone around us didn’t seem to be getting into it.
We left straight after Beyonce and, after getting the van pushed out of the mud by a group of friendly guys, we drove all through the night and were back home at 8am on Monday. It took Marie and I 3 hours to clean the mud from the van, before we returned it to the hire company….