Soul singer Yazmin Lacey on how to make the most out of a trip to Nottingham

The critically acclaimed musician gives us a whistle-stop tour of her adopted hometown

Georgia Evans
Written by
Georgia Evans
Commercial Editor, Time Out
A woman standing in front of an old inn
Image: Time Out / Nina Manandhar

‘I probably wouldn’t be making music if I hadn’t moved to Nottingham,’ says Yazmin Lacey, between playing festival slots. ‘When I was living in London, I was around a lot of creative people. But you know, it’s so intense and fast paced and saturated, that I think if you’re like me and come into music late, you don’t have the space to just try things out.’ 

Born and raised in east London, Lacey would occasionally sing in her church choir, but had never considered music as a career. When she left the capital for Nottingham (a night out in the city inspired her to make the move), she found herself surrounded by artists and musicians, as well as a producer ex-boyfriend who convinced her to start recording. This led to her playing shows around her adopted hometown – where she stayed for 11 years – and to Lacey eventually being picked up by Gilles Peterson’s Future Bubbler series, a compilation focusing on unsigned, up-and-coming artists. 

Her critically-acclaimed debut album ‘Voice Notes’ came out earlier this year, which she’s been performing at festivals across the country. Here, Lacey takes us through her favourite places in Nottingham, from a Japanese fusion restaurant to a pub with underground caves. 


Kushi-ya used to be a vegan cafe back in the day. It’s actually where I had my first gig: it was really small, you could probably fit about 30 people in there, and it was bloody dreadful. I remember thinking, ‘‘who intentionally stands in front of a room full of people like this?’’ I couldn’t make eye contact and I was traumatised after.

‘Now though, the space is home to a really good Japanese restaurant: Kushi-ya. You have to order the furikake prawn toast: normally I don’t like the oiliness of it, but this one is so thin it almost looks like baklava, the pastry is so deliciously light.’


‘I always take my mum to Another? Wine Bar because she loves the novelty of pouring your own wine. You can sit outside in the back when it’s warm and have a little drink with the girls. I’m starting to get into wine slowly and have just done my WSET Level 1 Award, so it’s somewhere I’ll always go. Then, there’s the Old Angel, which is just a proper pub. I’ll roll up and know I’ll get a good roast with music upstairs and sometimes DJs playing vinyl. I’ve been going there since the first time I visited Nottingham.’ 


‘I put on my first album party with creative studio Mimm. It was one of my favourite ever gigs because it was so DIY. My friend and I had a bottle of wine and we set up all these tea lights and lit incense in the room above a restaurant. It’s a massive fire hazard if I'm thinking about it now. It was rammed – I remember thinking, ‘‘oh my goodness, what if the floor goes through?’’ 

‘They also run an event in Nottingham called Wigflex which is a sick little festival. I played their first one at Nottingham Contemporary, where I’m going back for my tour. It was so cosy and they had this sculpture thing going on in the middle of the room. I remember feeling really warm after that one.’   


When I first moved, everyone told me I had to go to Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem because Nottingham has a lot of caves underneath it, and you can see them in some of the pubs. This pub looks as old as it is. They’ve got bits of the floor where you can see into the caves or go into them to have a drink. If you visit, get the little tasting tray of ciders, it’s cute.’

Yazmin Lacey is playing FORWARDS Festival in Bristol on Saturday September 2. 

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