Singer-songwriter from Kirkholt releases new single ahead of upcoming second album

Date published: 16 April 2021

A man who grew up on Kirkholt estate in Rochdale, singer-songwriter Kirk McElhinney has released a new single ‘Ticking Clock’.

At age 13, Kirk started playing a guitar his uncle gave him - which only had three strings. Now, he is known for his soulful voice and insightful lyrics accompanied to an acoustic guitar.

A song with a message of hope and solidarity, ‘Ticking Clock’ is the first single to be released from his upcoming second album ‘You Are Not Your Past’, which will be released later this year, on Friday 4 June.

Kirk explained: “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.”


Kirk McElhinney


Kirk’s first inspiration as a child growing up was The Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney, followed by Pete Townsend of the Who, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Frank Sinatra, Queen, and the Rolling Stones. This interest in the rock ‘n’ roll and soul musical greats led to him joining a blues band in his late teens, when he started playing electric guitar.

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. Kirk added: “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 Bert 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.

Kirk’s 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 4 June 2021.

‘Ticking Clock’ is out now and available across all download and streaming platforms.


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