The lesser-known songwriter within Orange Juice. He played on all the Postcard singles and the debut album, he composed my favourite 45 by the band and he was unceremoniously sacked by his old friend Edwyn in 1982 when tensions between them got too high.
James Kirk would, shortly after the sacking, release material under the name of Memphis before quitting the business and forging a new profession as a chiropodist. It was completely out of the blue when his debut album You Can Make It If You Boogie appeared in 2003 on the Hamburg-based Marina Records – and true to form, there hasn’t been anything since until his guest contribution to the Port Sulphur album last year.
You Can make It…..is an astonishing album, packed with great tunes and superb playing from James and his band as well as memorable contributions from a number of well-known guest backing vocalists. The songs had clearly been written over an extended period of time, with co-writing credits given to, among others, Alan Horne and Paul Quinn who had, by 2003, been long absent from the music scene, but the crisp and flawless production of Mick Slaven (who also played on the record as well as co-writing two of the songs) ensures the album doesn’t ever sound trapped in any era or decade.
I can never quite make my mind up which is my favourite track on the album. Today, as these words are being typed it is this:-
mp3 : James Kirk – Rehab
It’ll change to something else the next time I play the album.