Just over a year ago, Jess & I went on Sunny Afternoon’s #KinksAroundLondon tour during our #SunnyChallenge week. It was great seeing some of the places mentioned in the show, especially up in Muswell Hill (the Kinks room in the Clissold is fantastic). So we decided to revisit some of the locations, but to do our own Sunny Afternoon/Kinks inspired pub crawl (complete with rhyming hashtag: #KinksDrinks)! And what better day to do it than May Day bank holiday?
Clissold Arms (Fortis Green)
Kinks factor: The Davies family’s local.
“We’re all going down the Clissold Arms for a big family get-together… Come & play your new song – your dad’d love to hear it!”
Luckily we were able to sit in the famous Kinks room for our very first stop on the pub crawl. It seemed appropriate to start where the whole story began, up in Muswell Hill & in a pub that the real Davies family frequented. An added bonus being surrounded by the wonderful Kinks memorabilia that has been collected & displayed!
Strongbow Cloudy Apple – £4.50
Camden Head (Angel, Islington)
Kinks factor: Mick Avory auditioned here.
Possibly the nicest weather of the day, so we got a bit of fresh air & sat outside the pub where Mick auditioned for The Kinks. (Though this actually happened inside in the function room.) A real ‘moment in time’ as far as the band was concerned – where would they be without Mick’s “behind the beat” playing?
Symonds – £4.30
Bricklayers Arms (Gresse St, off Tottenham Court Rd)
Kinks factor: Mick Avory rehearsed with the Stones there.
“Mick was offered a job with the Rolling Stones but he turned it down…”
“I couldn’t see no future in it.”
A lovely little pub, hidden away off Tottenham Court Road. Presumably the band rehearsals took place upstairs, which is now a lounge bar area. Mick may have played a 1962 gig at the Marquee Club, but he’s fairly convinced he just did the rehearsals – luckily for The Kinks, Charlie Watts took the drumming slot in the Rolling Stones eventually.
Cider Reserve – £4.40
Montagu Pyke (Charing Cross Rd)
Kinks factor: One former site of the Marquee Club. Ray went to see the Rolling Stones at a different Marquee Club site, however that’s now a club so we kept it as close as we could!
It’s now a Wetherspoons, so cheap & cheerful (“here today – gone tomorrow!”) – and definitely served its purpose on our pub crawl. It is nice to see them celebrating their musical heritage by way of an interesting wall display…
Knowing me & my penchant for the drums, you can guess that I was pretty pleased to be sat near a lovely drum kit – even if there was no drum solo!
Magners – £3.50
Ship Inn (Wardour St)
Kinks factor: Next door to Henrit’s Drumstore (now the Print Room), frequented by Mick Avory – as well as other legendary drummers like Ginger Baker & Keith Moon.
Ray also celebrates Soho in several of his songs, so it seemed only right to finish our pub crawl there! Though we didn’t choose to drink champagne (that tastes just like cherry cola) – a final pint each was the order of the day.
Cornish Gold – £4.80
We did wonder if we might get a full cast show (it would only be my second, out of 60 times seeing this lot), but it’s never a disappointment to see a cast change notice in the foyer.
Obviously Jess & I were slightly ‘merry’ from our exploits, but it did feel like one of the more hilarious shows anyway. Everyone seemed on top of their game and really enjoying themselves! It was great to see Tom (newly appointed Cast Member of the Month) back after a couple of weeks off – back to his headbanging best in You Really Got Me. For once we were able to sit right at the end of the hanamichi and survey events from a different angle. It’s particularly fun during Dedicated Follower of Fashion and the finale from that viewpoint!
The fantastic buzz from the show left me sorely tempted to continue the day’s drinking afterwards, but instead I took the responsible & sensible option of going home to sleep… And this poster was waiting at my seat on the train – so it must’ve been “some sort of sign”!
For more Kinks-based trips around London, ‘The Kinks’ London‘ website is a great resource.