The Saint: How long have you been DJing at the Lizard?
Iain: About five years now.
TS: How did you get into DJing?
Iain: I’ve been DJing for around 35 years. I started doing mobile discos. I wrote a letter to a nightclub in Dundee, and it snowballed from there. I’ve been working for the person who owns this club for 20 years. I worked in Arbroath previously and then moved to the Lizard with this company.
TS: What kind of music do you like?
Iain: I like the music I play in the Lizard. R&B in its original format especially. I don’t really like dancy versions like David Guetta, etc – the money making stuff. I like funky music. No other DJ in this area is into R&B. Everyone else does dancy stuff. I love Led Zeppelin and Prince – I’ve seen him four times. I loved the dark side of music when I was at school. I find students very R&B-oriented and I get many requests for that type of music.[pullquote] I once came in wearing a t-shirt and jeans and only one guy recognised me[/pullquote]
TS: You are a St Andrews celebrity: more people recognise you than high officials in the University. Do you get recognised a lot around town?
Iain: I do but only when I’m dressed up. I once came in wearing a t-shirt and jeans and only one guy recognised me.
TS: Do you have a stage persona or are you just being yourself?
Iain: I’m not doing this as a part of my job. I’ve been like this since I was 12 years old. I want to clear the rumours – I’m a straight guy in a dress. I’m not married, nor have I ever been, and I don’t have any kids. I’m lucky to be in a job where I can dress this way. I don’t get in any hassle, so if I take a girl out I won’t dress like this, but they need to be aware that this is who I am. I kept it a secret for 30 years. Mum thought I’d been doing it for my job. When I told her it was OK; once you’ve convinced your parents everyone else can do a running jump!
TS: Are you a night owl?
Iain: I usually go home around 3 or 4 am and survive on five hours of sleep.
TS: What do you do during your free time?
Iain: I like horror films. Omen movies. Comedies, but dead pan comedies – like Fawlty Towers and Only Fools and Horses. I like things that make you think. Do you remember the Hell Raiser movies? I like the Halloween series. Think of serial killer films, Halloween is the most believable one. I also like Walt Disney, believe it or not. I used to go to video stores and hire a horror film and a Disney film – like going from the sublime to the ridiculous.[pullquote] I’ve been like this since I was 12 years old. I want to clear the rumours – I’m a straight guy in a dress… I kept it a secret for 30 years. Mum thought I’d been doing it for my job. Once you’ve convinced your parents everyone else can do a running jump! [/pullquote]
TS: What’s your favourite Disney film?
Iain: The Hunchback of Notre Dame – people get hassled if they’re different and I like that the film’s about that. I’ve been lucky in that respect.
TS: Who are your favourite Lizard customers?
Iain: Everyone is my favourite people! When I first started it was just going to be a Monday. I started to speak to people; the students and I became friends. I started getting high fives. People cross the dancefloor just to tell me that they come here to hear their music and have a good time. I like that the students speak to the personality not the appearance. I like to think that I cater to and please everyone.
TS: How have you managed to be a successful DJ for so long?
Iain: The clothes are what makes me different. In a way it helps being like that. I wouldn’t get the same accolade if I were a jeans and t-shirt kind of DJ. I still use CDs, I’m old school. Decks are equivalent to vinyl! I can get songs by the next day if people ask for it. Back in the day we got songs sent to clubs. Now I get songs on the internet. It’s all legal, I’m a legal DJ! I pay for CDs every week. I wouldn’t know how to use a laptop! I also use a mic. Maybe people aren’t used to a DJ speaking. It’s harmless fun when I’m on the mic. I also thank the sexy staff at the end of the night. No other clubs do that.
TS: What is the oddest thing that’s occurred while you were DJing?
Iain: People swinging from the roof.
Never seen that in a nightclub yet! I said: If you want to swing, go to a zoo! I don’t like people trying to text on the dancefloor. Or people trying to call on the dancefloor. You’ve gotta dance – go to the toilet if you want to have your mobile. It’s an obsession!
TS: Have you had many celebrities in the Lizard?
Iain: On numerous occasions, some examples include Rory McIlroy, Ant and Dec and Ronan Keating. I’ve also worked with many in previous nightclubs. Kept all of my stuff from day one. Got a drawer full of memorabilia I’ve kept. When people come thinking they’re the bees knees – and then they get a look at me – suddenly they don’t think they’re so special.
TS: Do you want to do this forever?
Iain: Yes. The average person my age doesn’t have the profile I do. Inwardly it’s a bit different, outwardly it’s fine, like I will hurt my back when working. I’ve got a young outlook on life. If I took someone out – I’d be up dancing.
TS: Do you have any message for the students?
Iain: Just be yourself. Live and let live! And remember: I’m here on average five nights a week!
Photos: Ellen Shaw