A HEAVY metal front man will spread the word when he takes to the stage to highlight the degenerative disease gripping his life.

Clark French, lead singer of Reading-based band Inanimacy, is hosting a Multiple Sclerosis fundraising gig at Facebar in Chatham Street, on Saturday. [26]

The former Reading University student, who is dubbing it the MStival festival, was just 25 when he was diagnosed with the illness last summer - eight months after he complained of blurred vision and chest and leg spasms.

His mother Julie Campbell is also a fellow sufferer and Clark spent his childhood years caring for his stepfather, Richard Ramsden, before the disease claimed his life in 1996.

Mr French, from Chesterman Street, Katesgrove, who often has trouble walking but can get around without using sticks or crutches, said: "I'm hoping to spread more awareness of MS and let more young people know that it can strike any time. When I was first diagnosed I felt total disbelief and shock. I thought, how can this happen to me? I've spent my life caring for my mum and stepdad and now it's part of my future."

Ten other bands are playing at the Dirty Noise Promo-run gig including No Consequence, Brokenjaws and Kraken. All funds will go to the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre - based in August End, west Reading, which offers patients treatment, therapy and social activities.

Mr French who receives physiotherapy there added: "The centre has been a lifeline for me - I would have fallen apart without it. They've helped my family, and my mum used to be treasurer there, and now it's my turn to give something back."

Entrance costs £5 with doors opening from 2-11pm. Email as.the.sun.sets@hotmail.co.uk or search MStival on Facebook or see www.bmstc.org. To donate see www.justgiving.com/Clarkfrench