Other major influences included Stevie Wonder, John Martyn, Nick Drake and, surprisingly perhaps, flamenco jazz genius Paco Da Lucia. Then he had a musical epiphany: he was introduced to Scottish folk legend and guitar genius Bert Jansch. Inspired, it was then he ditched the electric and picked up the acoustic guitar - and has never really looked back. He says: “I spent hours, days, months, years learning his stuff and trying to master his craftsmanship, and still am.”
Since then, music has taken Kirk all over the world; to India, Australia and Europe and beyond. He has also supported his hero Jansch at concerts across the UK. He was particularly honoured to be invited over to the Riff Festival in Jaipur where he got to play with some of the best musicians in the world.
Through a collaboration with internationally renowned musician, producer and composer, Nitin Sawhney, in Australia, Kirk met up with a group of musicians and formed a band called The Safires, who released one album (‘Epic in the Ordinary’) which he is hugely proud of. In the following ten years he collaborated with one of Manchester’s finest musicians, John Ellis (Corinne Bailey Rae, Cinematic Orchestra).
His debut solo album, ‘World Gone Blind’ was released in 2014 and, unfortunately, he subsequently hit a period of bad health and had to stop playing for a while. This resulted in Kirk having to change his lifestyle completely, including giving up alcohol. The new lease of life he gained from this experience has been poured into his forthcoming album, ‘You Are Not Your Past’ which will be released on 4th June 2021.
The first single from the album is ‘Ticking Clock’ which is a message of hope and solidarity. As Kirk explains: “The mainstream news constantly carries such a bleak message, a one-sided outlook that only seems to focus on the negative. The song is about the opposite of that, it’s about togetherness and uprising, with a message of we can do better. It’s about getting away from the ‘us and them’ mentality and moving to a non-judgemental and more understanding outlook.”
Watch the video for 'Ticking Clock' below.