A MUSIC scene stalwart is set to release a new record after defiantly finding alternative ways to pursue his passions following a devastating diagnosis.

Geoff Lawrence, 61, from Rowhedge, found out he had Parkinson’s Disease roughly three years ago in what was initially a huge blow to his ability to be creative.

The singer and guitarist has been writing and performing songs since he was a teenager, but now finds himself unable to gig due to his condition.

When he was given the news, the Slugworth frontman and proud dad to Effie Lawrence from group Anorak Patch, was understandably stunned.

Gazette: Picture: Cerys ByePicture: Cerys Bye

He said: “I cannot play my guitar live anymore really because my hand tremors, so to have music suddenly taken away from me was pretty terrible.

“Rehearsing is miserable too because I look down at my hand and it does not then go where I want it to go – one half of my body is always catching up with the other half.

“So, I have my moments where I look back at a live video and I watch myself playing fluently and I do miss that but I just have to now make the best of it.

“Parkinson’s Disease is a long and slow thing, and it does not get any better, but I will not die from it – it will just get worse and I will die with it.”

Determined not to let his Parkinson’s prevent him from doing what he truly loves, Geoff, also a photographer, has since explored different methods of making music.

Unable to use his guitar as freely he once could, he turned his attention to the bass and the keyboard in a defiant way of proving to himself he could still write songs.

After finding his rhythm, Geoff had concocted nine tracks which he recorded at Tom Donovan Studio over a two-year period while collaborating with a host of musicians.

The result is Similar Life, an album which represents hope and the overcoming of adversity as much it does a simply, sonic body of fine songs.

Gazette: Picture: Cerys ByePicture: Cerys Bye

“I was still full of ideas and having the chance to just go into the studio and try out all this stuff was fantastic,” added Geoff.

“I felt like Phil Spector and have always wanted to do an album like this one, so this gave me an opportunity and I am really proud of it and I want people to listen to it.

“I have never actually been busier, musically, and at the moment whatever direction I am pushed in, I embrace.”

Similar Life will be releases in June and Geoff will play one final gig with Slugworth on May 1 at the Ye Olde Albion All-Dayer gig.