• Kensington Market

  • Luke Gibson (vocals; 1967)
    Keith McKie (guitar, vocals)
    Alex Darou (bass)
    Eugene Martynec (piano, guitar)
    John Mills-Cockell (keyboards; 1969)
    Jimmy Watson (drums)

    A staple on the Yorkville Village scene in Toronto during the mid-to-late'60's, Kensington Market actually got their name from a neighbourhood south of the Village.

    They were discovered in 1967 playing the clubs in the Village by musical entrepreneur Bernie Finkelstein (who would later help The Paupers and Bruce Cockburn among others).

    After the dissolution of Luke And The Apostles, the Market recruited Luke Gibson in the latter part of 1967 by which time they had already released two singles for Stone Records.

    These singles achieved minimal success but Finkelstein was able to wave them at the brass of Warner Brothers in New York City and landed the band a record deal. They released two albums - and 'Aardvark' - to critical acclaim but no commercial success.

    In 1968 Kensington Market did the soundtrack to the NFB film "The Ernie Game" -- a real coupe for a Canadian act. That same year they released their debut album, 'Avenue Road', (named after a street that intersects Yorkville Avenue).

    Keyboardist John Mills-Cockell joined in 1969 and their follow-up,
    'Aardvark', was released, but not in enough time to save the splintering band who split that same year.

    Following the band's demise Watson had retired; Darou died in 1970; McKie was invited to join Lighthouse but went solo instead and eventually wound up playing with The Village Band and Heartbeat, took odd jobs to make ends meet and recorded a solo album in the '80's. He's been dabbling in Country music over the last decade; John Mills-Cockell went on to record with synth-prog band Syrinx before trying his own solo career both projects were on Finkelstein's True North Records; Luke Gibson also went the solo route and still occasionally makes the rounds in Toronto clubs; Martynec became a notable session player and producer (Bruce Cockburn, Ray Materick).

    With notes from Garwood Wallace.

    1967 Mr. John (Stone)
    1967 Bobby's Birthday (Stone)
    1968 I Would Be The One (Warner Bros.)
    1968 Witch's Stone (Warner Bros.)
    1969 Help Me (Warner Bros.)

    1968 Avenue Road (Warner Bros.)
    1969 Aardvark (Warner Bros.)

    Compilation Tracks
    1968 cut(s) on 'The Ernie Game' (Warner Bros.) - soundtrack

    "from The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia written by Jaimie Vernon"

    (c) 2006 Quebecorp/Sunmedia/CANOE