Kensington Market

Kensington Market. Toronto rock band, active 1967-9. Named for a downtown Toronto neighbourhood, it was formed by songwriters Keith McKie (vocals, guitar) and Eugene Martynec (guitar, piano), with Alex Darou (bass guitar) and Jimmy Watson (drums). The singer and songwriter Luke Gibson (from the blues band Luke and the Apostles) was added later in 1967, and the synthesizer player John Mills-Cockell was a member in 1969.

The Market performed initially in Toronto coffeehouses and high schools, recorded its first singles for the local Stone label, and created the score for The Ernie Game (NFB 1968). It made the LPs Avenue Road (1968, Warner WS-1754) and Aardvark (1969, Warner WS-1790) in New York and twice toured in the USA. The single 'I Would Be the One' was a minor Canadian hit in 1968.

Although it was short lived and did not enjoy great commercial success, Kensington Market was one of the first Canadian rock bands to develop a style - texturally complex, lyrically eloquent - independent of US and British models. Its LPs did not capture the exuberant, improvisatory nature of its live performances. Martynec subsequently worked in Toronto studios, while Gibson and McKie have had minor and intermittent solo careers. Gibson made the LP Another Perfect Day (TNorth TN6) in 1971 and McKie released Rumors at the Newstand (Quantum QR-81003) in 1981.