It’s been almost a decade since Ken Lamb began bringing a new element of fun and entertainment to the St. Davids Lions Carnival, with musical groups performing each evening.
He has also introduced a wine and beer tent for people to sit back and enjoy the music, and both will be back in full force next week, with 12 different bands filling 12 time slots over the four days of the 59th annual carnival, beginning Wednesday, July 20 and continuing to the music dies down at the end of the day Saturday, July 23.
The highlight is the return of Vinyl Flux, one of the top rock and roll cover bands in Ontario, appearing Friday evening. They have a strong following and put on a great show, says Lamb. They are Niagara’s premiere classic rock band, and multiple winners of the Niagara Music Awards. These talented musicians appear throughout Niagara, bringing more than 40 years of live performance experience and professionalism to each and every show.
A Vinyl Flux performance, Lamb says, “drives the sound, feel and emotion of iconic musical legends from an era of songwriting that has never been replicated. Their performances transcends time, with classic rock played as music was meant to be played, and heard.”
The concert series and mix of music attracts another demographic to the carnival, says Lamb, providing something a little different for people who will also eat the great Lions food, play some of the games and spend more money — “money which lets us do more for the community.”
Each band brings their friends and family members, and their regular fans, adding to the crowd, and the fundraising success of the event, he adds.
Also appearing at the carnival is Cottage Brew, playing classic rock, alt rock, acoustic and country music, led by singer Darryl Freel. Cottage Brew will bring a “rockin’ close’ to the Lions entertainment Saturday.
Clockwork has been a regular at the carnival for several years, as the band that is always first to sign up for assisting the Lions. Music by Led Zeppelin, Pat Benatar, Blondie, Alannah Myles, AC/DC and more will be on offer, with lead singer Jenn Downie ‘bringing huge energy to every show. ‘
The Turntable Rock Band plays all the favourites, from the Eagles, Beatles, Van Morrison, Springsteen, Mellencamp, the Traveling Wilburys, and more.
Lead singer Dave Rusch, who also operates KWW Radio, and the band bring a lot of experience and great music to the carnival, says Lamb .
There are talented soloists – Matt Taylor (classic rock and country), Kyle (Ed Sheeran – say no more) Lamb, Randy “Buzz” Busbridge (uber talented guitarist/vocalist with a huge variety of songs to perform) and Brayden Doucette from Grimsby, just 17 years old and booking “all over the place.
Duos Jacob D’Sousa from Brantford, a young singer/songwriter who will blow you away, and the Bohdivisttas, classic rockers under the lead of Jean Marchand, complete the list of talented performers you can expect to hear at the carnival, says Lamb.
“And new this year is an afternoon stage for talented local high school students – Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m. Come check them out.”
The Lions couldn’t make this happen without the many local sponsors who help, he says, so “thank you to them.”
And he notes, with the 12 performances, there are extended hours each day for the music from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
There will be beer from Great Lakes Brewery, and Niagara College is also involved, bringing beer and wine, and likely some of their cider as well, he says — the beer and wine tent will be open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.