In 1996 I saw an advert in the local paper looking for a lead singer of a 13 piece soul band. Soul was my main music, Otis Redding, James Brown, Sam and Dave etc. I decided I would go along and audition. When I arrived I was told to sing “try a little tenderness”. I knew the song well, but I had never sung it in front of anyone let alone an audience and with a microphone! I was terrified! I sang, and I would love to say I sang like an angel, but it was more like a wounded duck, waiting to be put out of my misery! I prayed they would stop playing, which after a lifetime they did. Needless to say I was thanked very politely then told to leave. But this did not deter me. A few weeks later the same advert appeared so I applied again. Upon my arrival they recognised me; they told me that seeing as I was here I might as well “have a go”. I had nothing to lose, so I sang with all my heart and they loved it. I was in; I was the lead singer of a band!
THE SOULED OUT YEARS
We toured around the UK and even performed at the FIMU Festival (Federation Internationale de Musique) in Belfort France in front of 9000 people which was also televised, (it’s the weirdest thing saying “merci” to so many people). In 1999 the band disbanded due to relationships, marriages and pregnancies etc so I joined a few other bands,
THE SOLO YEARS
Then in 2001 I got the opportunity to be an entertainer in Cyprus. For the first time I had to sing solo. It was an amazing experience and a year later I moved to Tenerife and then in 2003 to Zante. When I returned home to the UK I continued as a solo artist and won a few competitions on the way. Wanting to spread my wings a bit further I joined the Caxton Theatre in Grimsby and appeared as the tramp “Merluche” in the play “trap for a lonely man”. Also in this play, as the lead role, was Tony Kirk!
THE LEWIS AND KIRK YEARS
We got on well and had many of the same interests, star wars, Jack Daniels, and singing! He told me he was in a band called “Revolution” and I should come along and have a look. So one night I did just that and went along to see them. I was amazed! The band was so tight and Tony’s voice was incredible. The first thing I thought was I want to manage this band and over the course of the play which we were in at the time, (which was around three months) Tony and I became great friends. He asked my advice on moving to Tenerife as a solo artist and I told him that it was a great opportunity and he should at least give it a go. Several months later I received an email from Tony asking what I thought of being in a duo. My immediate thought was, yes! So when Tony arrived back in England we got together to rehearse whenever we could and in August 2006 we hired the Caxton Theatre for our first ever show as “Lewis and Kirk” in the Unleashed Show. The night was an amazing success with standing room only. In 2012 we had decided that we had decided that it was time to bow out whilst we were on the top!
Singing with Tony was such a pleasure. Not only is he a fantastic singer and entertainer that I admire, but he is also one of my closest friends.
Now as a solo artist again I believe that if people have as much fun as I do, then I have set out to do exactly what I wanted, and that is to entertain. I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you made it to the end, thank you for taking the time, and I’ll buy you a drink at my next show.