The Kinks on Hampstead Heath, London, 1968

The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society

Fans of the iconic 60s band The Kinks will want to get themselves down to a greart new exhibition at London’s Proud Galleries running till the 18th of November. ‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society’, celebrates the 50th anniversary multi-format release of The Kinks’ sixth studio album, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.

On display in the show is a selection of rare collector’s items including specially commissioned artworks by members of the band and vintage memorabilia, together with a collection of photographs documenting this remarkable period in the band’s history. Each work is hand- signed by surviving band members Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory.

The Kinks performing in Malmoe Folkets Park, Sweden, 14th June, 1968

Kinks performance in Malmoe Folkets Park, Sweden, 14th June, 1968, Ola Svensson/Bilder i Syd. © Ola Svensson/Bilder i Syd. Credit: Images courtesy of Proud Galleries © Andrew Maclear, © Barrie Wentzell, © Morgan Howell, © LFI/Avalon, © Ola Svensson/Bilder i Syd and © Dave Davies.

‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society’ explores the album’s British sensibilities and commemorates what is now considered to be the high point of The Kinks’ outstanding career.

The Music

The Village Green was originally released by The Kinks in November 1968 and became the final album from the original quartet: Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife and Mick Avory. Despite a positive critical reception upon its release, the album didn’t perform well commercially, perhaps due to the band’s deliberate step away from the musical trends of the era. In retrospect, audiences have come to value the album’s timeless quality.

The Kinks recording at the Playhouse Theatre, London, for the BBC World Service, 26th November ,1968

The Kinks recording at the Playhouse Theatre, London, for the BBC World Service, 26th November ,1968. © LFI/Avalon. Credit: Images courtesy of Proud Galleries © Andrew Maclear, © Barrie Wentzell, © Morgan Howell, © LFI/Avalon, © Ola Svensson/Bilder i Syd and © Dave Davies.

Defying the 60’s typical approach to rock ‘n’ roll, The Village Green offers an affectionate and charming ode to the countryside through vignettes of English life. The album is much loved by fans of the band due to its charm and ageless wit and musical innovation and has become a definitive piece of British pop culture, created by a band that refused to follow fashion.

The Kinks performing 'Days' on BBC TV Top Of The Pops, August, 196

The Kinks performing ‘Days’ on BBC TV Top Of The Pops, August, 1968© LFI/Avalon. Credit: Images courtesy of Proud Galleries © Andrew Maclear, © Barrie Wentzell, © Morgan Howell, © LFI/Avalon, © Ola Svensson/Bilder i Syd and © Dave Davies.

The exhibition features photography from the album artwork photoshoot in Hampstead Heath, captured by established music photojournalist Barrie Wentzell. Below the original quartet lounge on the grass against the historic backdrop of Kenwood House. In his forthcoming book Wentzell says,

“This session with The Kinks was held on Hampstead Heath. It was one of Ray’s favourite places to do photos and interviews. We strolled over the Heath for an hour taking pictures of the band on a lazy, hazy sunny day. At the end of the shoot we all went up to Kenwood House to partake in tea and currant buns”.

The Kinks on Hampstead Heath, London, 1968

The Kinks, Hampstead Heath, London, 1968, Barrie Wentzell. © Barrie Wentzell. Credit: Images courtesy of Proud Galleries © Andrew Maclear, © Barrie Wentzell, © Morgan Howell, © LFI/Avalon, © Ola Svensson/Bilder i Syd and © Dave Davies.

The exhibition aims to reintroduce the nostalgia of the Kinks’ most memorable album to a 21st Century audience and offers an insight into the enduring escapism the band created 50 years ago. When asked to describe the record, Ray Davies said that; “everybody’s got their own Village Green, somewhere you go to when the world gets too much”.

The Kink's Ray Davies sits at a piano on Top of the Pops in 1969

Ray Davies at Top of the Pops, c.1969, Andrew Maclear. Credit: Images courtesy of Proud Galleries © Andrew Maclear, © Barrie Wentzell, © Morgan Howell, © LFI/Avalon, © Ola Svensson/Bilder i Syd and © Dave Davies.

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, runs from 4th October – 18th November 2018, at Proud Galleries: www.proud.co.uk

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