THERE can’t be many tours that are based around whether the Colchester Arts Centre can do it.

Steve Lamacq’s was.

“It was the first place we contacted,” the BBC 6 Music DJ tells me, “and honest to god the rest of the dates on the tour were all worked out around which date the arts centre could do.”

Of course there’s a very good reason for that because when the former Evening Session presenter and journalist with the NME arrives at the Church Street venue next month, it will very much be a hometown gig.

“I certainly will need to clean-up my language,” Steve jokes, “because my mum and dad will be in the audience as well as other family and friends.”

He’s back in Colchester for his new one-man show, Going Deaf for a Living, which is a mixture of anecdotes from his long illustrious career as well as a examination of what it’s like to be a music fan.

“I’ve always thought I’d grow out of it one day,” he says. “but it’s just the same as when I first started at the age of about ten or 11 and I was picking up records like Tiger Feet by Mud. Growing up it was always about what the next record would be.”

And thanks to a paper round delivering the Gazette, he had money to buy them.

“It was holiday cover for a mate,” Steve explains. “It was for Wakes Colne, which meant a two to three-mile cycle ride from my house in Colne Engaine.

“It’s a bit of a cliche, but when I eventually took it over full-time I was warned of various houses to watch out for – like number 24 that had a particularly vicious dog.”

Steve was 14 at the time, but it was only a short-lived career because, as he says, he needed more money to buy records.

He adds: “Everything back then was about making more money to buy records.”

Now his London flat is full of them.

“I know I only have a finite amount of space,” he laughs, “and with vinyl coming back I’m in real trouble. I have an office space full of them and a few years back I had a loft conversion so I could store them in there.

“Unfortunately I’ve never made enough money to do what Giles Peterson did and buy a whole flat for his record collection. That would be good.”

As well as listening to music, Steve has spent almost all of his life writing about it as well.

Gazette: Photo: Javier Garcia / BPI 14th Feb 2014 Radio presenter Steve Lamacq photographed in Central London.

Starting off working at the West Essex Gazette, doing all the things trainee reporters do, like covering court and council meetings and at one point becoming the sports editor, he then got a job with the prestigious music weekly, NME. It was while there he began DJing for then pirate radio station XFM before in 1993 he got his big break working on Radio 1’s Evening Session with Jo Wiley, a role he kept until 2002. Today, still hosting a regular show on BBC 6 Music, he is quite rightly regarded as one of the most influential music DJs in the country.

Celebrating 30 years since he got that job with the NME, Going Deaf for a Living, much like a band might do, includes all some Steve’s most classic moments such as interviewing Nirvana in a Shepherds Bush B n B and watching Manic Street Preachers Richey Edwards carving the words 4 Real in his arm in response to one of his questions.

“One of the questions I always get asked is what Nirvana were like,” he says, “as well of course how do I spot a good band, and I suppose that’s where the idea for the show came from.

“As part of the evening I’ll be bringing along some early demos sent into me by bands that are quite well known now and I’ll be getting the audience to guess who they are as well as explaining what it was that made them stand out.

“But it’s also about how music will drive you just a little bit mad and how bands let you down and break your heart.”

Of course, and like others before him, Steve could have written this all down in a book but as a ardent gig fan himself, that just didn’t seem right.

“Like a band,” he begins, “I wanted to take it out on the road, possibly learn a little bit about myself when I chatting to the audience but also find out what makes the everyday music fan tick.

“Before the start of the show we hand out pieces of paper with a few questions on it and of course one of them is what’s the first single you ever bought. Now I’ve done this a few times before and unbelievably I will guarantee that at least one of those forms will come back with Star Trekkin’ by The Firm on it. Honestly it happens every single time.

“When I was DJing I did a fair bit of touring around and when there’s a few of you, it can seem a bit like a band. There’s always an tour in-joke that no one else gets and of course a favourite service station but perhaps the best thing is just getting out there and talking to music fans. The UK is full of different little worlds, especially with music. they tend to be rocky in Liverpool and a little bit Indie in Sheffield.”

Steve Lamacq: Going Deaf For a Living is at the Colchester Arts Centre on May 8.

Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start with tickets priced £15, available from or by calling 01206 500900.

And in case you were wondering if Steve was going to have a rider for the night, it would be a four cans of good quality cider and a multi-pack of salt and vinegar crisps.

“That’s all your main food stuffs there,” he jokes. “Now you’ve given me another idea for the show.”