A SLIGHTLY off-centre, more cheerful face of modern singing and song writing is set to take to the stage in Uttoxeter.
David Lacey is set to perform at the Old Star, in Queen Street, from 9pm on Friday.
His feel-good, acoustic pop songs which harbour heartfelt lyrics are described as telling tales of empty wallets, fleeting romance and escapology.
On his Facebook page, Lacey said: “My love of music started when I was about 13.
“My dad had a guitar gathering dust for years until I found it and somehow played the riff from Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple.
“Straight away I was writing my own riffs and singing melodies over the top. I’ve been hooked ever since. Growing up the music playing in the house was motown, soul, blues, Latin, prog rock and classical.
“I fondly remember a lot of Hendrix and Pink Floyd. It gave me so many great influences to draw inspiration from.”
The self-taught performer plays every musical instrument including guitars despite being advised to stop by doctors.
Developing an allergy to a metal which goes into making guitar strings, playing for any length of time would be a painful experience for Lacey but he insists it is ‘still well worth it.’
After two years of trying to contact dozens of manufacturers, a company just up the road from his own hometown in Derbyshire agreed to make custom strings which were free from the harmful metal.
However, as he struggled with veiled nerves at live shows and the stresses of being let down by various agents, promoters, managers and labels, his anxiety took over. He had panic-attacks, became very distant and withdrawn and eventually became agoraphobic.
Lacey said: “I think it was for nearly 18 months I would avoid any contact with people, couldn’t leave my flat, close friends and family would drop off supplies and sometimes I couldn’t even open the door to them.
“I really don’t know what I was afraid of.
“I had stopped going out and performing live but had become entirely focused on writing new music.
“I wasn’t working so when they cut off my power for not paying the bill, I switched to acoustic guitars.
“When winter set in I played faster and more upbeat to keep warm. It was a good medicine for me.”
It was his desire to get his new acoustically written music out there that eventually gave him the courage to get out there himself. Strengthened by the experience, Lacey steadily shook off his shackles.
Since then he has performed hundreds of gigs to thousands of people at venues such as Earls Court and the NEC and supported acts including Dodgy and Frank Turner.
Last year Lacey released his debut EP ‘The Greatest Escape’. This led to airplay on various radio stations including a live solo acoustic performance on BBC Radios Acoustic Afternoons.
Admission to the Old Star gig is free.