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LOLA Fest offers unique culture and music to the city

T.K. Dallman | Interrobang | Lifestyles | September 24th, 2007



While London hasn't always had the deepest roots in the Southern Ontario independent music scene, the London Ontario Live Arts Festival (LOLA) is certainly making an effort to change this with what is perhaps the most interesting arts festival to happen outside of the GTA this year.

The annual festival started last Thursday, September 20 and will continue until the 23rd with a fantastic array of art exhibits and independent music covering many genres, from rock to hip-hop to the far side of experimental pop.

The concerts will be held in various venues, with a large showcase also taking place in Victoria Park for free. Notable bands performing there on Friday are: Grizzly Bear, whose last album Yellow House was called, “A collection of songs that sound awe-inspiringly huge and intimate at the same time,” by All Music Guide, London's own hip-hop artist Shad K, who was recently signed to Black Box Recordings and Final Fantasy, a violinist/singer who uses a looping pedal to create phenomenal musical arrangements.

Saturday provides another round of great musical acts with The Meligrove Band out of the GTA, the Hylozoists and closing the night, Constantines, who have repeatedly won the praise of critics.

Call the Office, Alex P Keaton and the London Music Club are also hosting concerts that (with the exception of the London Music Club, which is ‘pay what you can') will have an admission fee ranging from $7-15 depending on the night and the acts. Visit http://www.lolafest.com/events.html for a complete schedule of the bands playing around town.

On the visual art side of things, of particular interest comes a display called 77 Million Paintings by one Brian Eno.

Eno, to those who might not know, has worked with a multitude of musical groups as a producer and player, starting from his own group Roxy Music, continuing with the likes of David Bowie, The Talking Heads, John Cale of The Velvet Underground and so on. He even has a co-producer credit on U2's The Joshua Tree. His visual arts display will be showing at the Wolf Performance Hall from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. from Thursday to Saturday nights. Throughout this time there will also be other art displays at the Rotary Reading Garden, 123 Queens St., and other downtown locations all listed on the LOLA Fest website.

Opportunities like these do not come very often and with the amount of work done by the incredible LOLA volunteers and organizers, I urge readers to support the London music scene by checking out the events downtown this weekend. Go to a show, see some art and just enjoy what London has to offer.
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