One-man band at the highlights of the Western Fair this year

Paul David loves the reaction of the children, their parents and grandparents.

But it is the musicians who stop, listen and look in wonder that the one-man band known as Bandolini feels best when he prepares for the Western Fair in London, from Friday to 16 September.

"That's when I know I'm doing a good job – when the musicians come to me and tell me how they were blown away," said David, who is equipped with an external sound system, a guitar, and a drum set attached to his belt. . back.

The fair opens Friday with a stopover with 29 exciting attractions for adults and more than 20 for children, a range of popular fair dishes and a full range of events including:

  • Concerts with April Wine Sept. 10, Walk Off the Earth 11 September, Aaron Pritchett 12 September and Burton Cummings 13 September
  • A return of the wreck derby at the Western Fair Grandstand on 9 and 16 September
  • The Rawhide Rodeo September 8-9 in the Agriplex of the Western Fair District
  • The annual animal exhibition Middlesex 4-H at the Agriplex
  • Western Horse Show, where riders show off their riding skills at the Agriplex 14-14 September
  • Kiddieland, with attractions and a variety of daily entertainers for children and adults, including Doo Doo the Clown, magician Aaron Matthews, Christina the Crazy Hooper and juggler Craig Douglas
  • Dancing square, daily in the lobby of the Agriplex
  • Boss Hogg Racing pigs and ducks on the middle road near the gate of the presbytery
  • Down on the Farm with Cow's Fred's C-More Country Corral with animals, activities and demonstrations such as Kane Sibley and his chainsaw, all in Queen's Park.

An important feature of the annual market is always the food, including the usual rhythm of elephant ears, cotton candy, corn dogs, hamburgers, ribs and pulled pork, fries, fudge and sweets and other delicacies. There are food cabins spread over the fair.

There are also the I Love Local offerings in the Progress Building, with dishes made by Western Fair District staff, such as Ontario burgers with beef, pork skewers, smoked turkey figures and grilled flat breads, as well as performances by local musicians .

Top of the Fair executive chef Neil Mackay said that there are no new food creations this year.

"What we have offered last year has been very well received and that is why we have not added it," said Mackay, before adding: "We have slightly modified some recipes to perfect them."

He said that fair-goers are fond of tasting different types of food, and prefer to park their diet at the door.

"I think it's just an excuse to eat all those (heat) extremes (like fried treats)," Mackay said. "There are certain foods that improve the fair experience – the cotton candy, the pogos and so on."

Then there is Bandolini, who walks around in most genres and plays "timeless, classical music".

"It has been learned through a perfect storm of skills learned over the years," said David, 55, of Kitchener, who spends Canada and the US at trade fairs and events from June to October every year since the late 1990s. when he played in bands.

After gaining a specialization in sculpting at the university, David went to work as a salesman and then played in bands for a number of years before he grew into a one-man band.

"I got the clean bug in the small town outside of Sarnia (Brigde) where I grew up and in a way it has become a lifestyle for me.

David said that he is a one-man band – he has a repertoire of more than 100 songs from Neil Young to Led Zeppelin, AC / DC, folk and roots and other familiar tunes – is "like a dance."

"That's the best way to describe it," said David, who returns to the show after a seven or eight-year break.

"You do movements as if you were dancing and staying on time."

His guitar has been adapted so that he can switch from acoustic to electric, banjo or resonator with the press of a button. His customized sound system is contained in what looks like an old-fashioned radio on wheels that is controlled remotely.

He plays all instruments with "no looping machine, drum machine or recorded background tracks – I totally agree."

"When I played guitar in a band, I always jumped around on stage, so taping drums to my back was not that big," said David, who will perform three shows daily at 4.30pm, 7pm hours. and 8:30 am at different locations.

He played last May at events for the Toronto Raptors, Maples Leafs and even at Parliament Hill in Ottawa at the Center Block for MPs.

But the most memorable, sincere idea he ever did, David said, was at a fairground in the southwestern United States where he met a family with a child who was deaf and blind.

"I saw the parents and they used their hands to try to explain what was going on and I let him climb up on my sound system, so that he could feel the music that had no dry eyes in the park when he elation and joy on his face saw face and that was really something, "he said.

"It is still a great joy for me to be honest and to have a smile from the children, I feel like helping people forget what problems they have in their personal lives or problems in the world that day."

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What: Western Fair 2018

True: Western Fair District, 316 Rectory St.

When: Friday until 16 September

Tickets: In advance to Thursday, adults $ 10, seniors (60-plus) $ 10, children five-10 $ 4, children aged four and younger, free; at the gate, adults $ 25, seniors $ 10, children five-10 $ 5, children four and younger, free. For more information on ticket packages, ride tickets and concerts, go online at, or personally in the administration building, 316 Rectory St., the sports center, 865 Florence St., at the Farmer's Market on Saturday, or the Uprising to build.

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