Kirk’s clubbing days started at an under-18’s night held at local Ipswich club ‘Rumours’ from 1982-1983. The music was surprisingly upfront and came at a time
when Kirk’s head was turned by hearing Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock’. The club became a key place for local teenagers eager to hear early electro mixed with
NY disco-boogie. Grandmaster Flash’s ‘Adventures On the Wheels of Steel’ and Double Dee & Steinski’s cut-up record ‘Lesson One’ were very influential on Kirk and he began experimenting with ‘pause button mixes’ using a double tape deck with overdubbing capabilities and one turntable which he would vari-speed by applying pressure on the platter with his finger.
Kirk would travel down to London on Sundays with a group of mates – two of whom were professional footballers earning enough to buy all the latest electro releases
from Groove Records in Soho. One of the footballers bought a pair of Technics 1200’s and a mixer and – housed in his parents front room – used to allow Kirk and others to practise
mixing. The whole setup would sometimes be taken to the local Caribbean Community Centre where Kirk would share the DJing duties whilst local breakdance crews battled.
It was at these events that Kirk met Andy Turner and Ed Handley – part of a local breakdance crew from Stowmarket. The pair would later become part of The Black Dog
and ultimately Warp outfit Plaid.
As Kirk got older and more confident of getting into clubs he often visited Zero 6 in Southend, The Goldmine in Canvey, Tartan House – Colchester and Flicks in Dartford. It
was at Flicks that Kirk first heard House music in 1986 but it was at an alldayer at Nottingham’s Rock City that same year where Kirk heard House music played for hours continuously for the first time. Soon however, the fashion-dominated clubs of Central London like The Wag became the focal point of Kirk’s clubbing.
Kirk and a few mates finally got around to hosting their own club night in 1986. The night was simply called ‘Sweat’. Inspired by the music and fashion of the London clubs such as The Opera House, Mudd Club, and Delirium the night was a huge hit attracting 700 people which was previously thought impossible in Ipswich. The event also made the local TV news after a huge riot erupted outside afterwards with police not being able to cope with the large crowds spilling out.
Despite the ‘notoriety’ there were two more Sweat events – each with Kirk and DJ partner Floyd playing an eclectic mix of hip-hop, rare groove and early house.