Kirk’s passionate dose of ‘sonic bliss’

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‘Kirk’s sound is a melting pot of sonic bliss’. High praise indeed for guitarist and vocalist Kirk McElhinney from fellow musician Nitin Sawhney.

The Rochdale singer/songwriter will perform at Wainsgate Chapel, Old Town, Hebden Bridge, on Saturday as part of the venue’s summer concert series.

Kirk is a passionate singer whose soulful voice and insightful lyrics - together with a rich and vibrant mosaic of acoustic guitar picking - give him a sound that is both unique and enticing.

His concerts are always something of a one-off, due to his free-spirited jamming style and raw energy which captivates audiences everywhere he performs.

He has appeared alongside such luminaries as folk legend Bert Jansch and Tommy Emmanuel as well as world music star Nitin Sawhney.

The Daily Express described Kirk as a ‘jazz folk troubadour who brings the genre back to life’.

Speaking about his ‘guru’, Bert Jansch, Kirk said: “He changed it all for me, in his playing. I’d never heard anyone play like that.

“He’s a great songwriter – a pure craftsman – and his guitar playing’s out of this world. It constantly hits the spot and I’d try and work it out and think ‘what’s he doing?’ ”

Kirk has also been influenced by John Martyn and Nick Drake as well soul legends Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.

Joining Kirk on stage at Wainsgate is the legendary Mancunian keyboards player John Ellis.

As well as performing in The Cinematic Orchestra and running his 12-piece John Ellis Big Bang, he has a long list of credits including working with Lily Allen, Corinne Bailey Rae, Tom Jones, John Squire of The Stone Roses and DJ Vadim amongst many others.

Kirk said: “Working with John is truly inspiring, he keeps my head straight. I never feel like I can’t show him new ideas and he makes me feel like I have no limits to what I can do.”

Kirk’s last album ‘World Gone Blind’ was recorded at Limefield Studios in Manchester and released in January 2014.

The concert starts at 3pm and tickets, which are only available at the door, cost £10 and £8 with a special £3 rate for under 18s.

The next concert at Wainsgate takes place on Sunday, October 23 when the extraordinary film ‘Sklonište’ about the 1994 siege of Sarajevo will be shown.

The film will be accompanied live music written by Todmorden-based composer Ailís Ní Ríain and performed by virtuoso Dublin accordionist Dermot Dunne.

There is more information about all events and how to get to Wainsgate at