Campus Music Explosion
invades The Spoke
By Jeffrey Zon
|IT ALL BEGAN
WITH A SOFA AND A PORCH... and then it evolved into Sofa Porch Theatre,
The Forest City's contenders in tonight's Campus Music Explosion.
Who says London gets
boring come exam time? Ask Jay Duggan and he'll give you seven reasons
to bear down and get your studying done early.
Reasons one through seven: the winners of seven local battles of the bands
coming together at The Spoke tonight for the regional Campus Music Explosion.
Duggan is not just any indie music enthusiast. It was he who started the
Campus Music Explosion project, and it's his dedication that managed to
keep it running strong to this day.
The "Explosion" itself is three stages of musical competition
that allow Canadian university youth to showcase their talents and gain
valuable recognition. Produced by the Canadian Organization of Campus
Activities COCA, the competition takes place once a year at each campus.
The second stage takes place at Western and features bands from five nearby
universities. One Western band, Sofa Porch Theatre, will be showcasing
their purple prowess onstage.
Sofa Porch Theatre's lead singer Shawn Chopra reflects on the good fortune
that followed them into the winner's circle and to the regional competition.
"We applied to the Western rock-off in March, and surprised ourselves
by walking away victorious among the 17 bands that entered," Chopra
The band combines different elements, and Chopra notes that their music
"has been described as having a Canadian rock sound."
If Friday's judges see fit, Chopra could be taking his bandmates one step
further to this year's CME finals in Montreal, which will take place in
"We're really happy to be a part of this. It's a good opportunity
for new bands to showcase their talent and get some exposure, and at the
same time, it's a great chance for people to come check out some of the
top university bands in the region," he says.
Last year's regional winner was a band called Grand Poobah from Fanshawe
College, who played to a packed house at The Spoke earlier this year.
The University Students' Council's Entertainment Productions guru Josh
Clark, who is a CME veteran, is responsible for the organization of the
regional competition and has been working hard to ensure its success.
"We have hosted the regional battle in the past, and this is where
you get to see the cream of the other schools, and generally a decent
variety of music," Clark says.
Clark is no novice to the indie music scene. His brainchild, the "$50
and a Case of Beer" music series happens every Thursday at The Spoke.
In recognition of the competition and events like "$50 and a case
of beer," Chopra said that Canada is starting to make a name for
"A large part of that comes from the local independent scenes,"
Chopra added. "It's important that people start to realize there's
a lot more to London's music scene than just Jim Bob's, GT's and The Drink."
Interested yet? Come to The Spoke tonight at 8:30 p.m. and grab a seat
before they're all taken. Each band in the competition will play a half-hour
Fans of Sofa Porch Theatre can expect them to take the stage at 10:45
p.m., and for those unfamiliar with the band, you can check out their
Web site at www.sofaporchtheatre.com.