Our exclusive interview with St Andrews’ most famous DJ, Iain of the Lizard Lounge

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DJ Iain in front of the iconic zebra print walls at the Lizard on North Street
DJ Iain in front of the iconic zebra print walls at the Lizard on North Street
DJ Iain in front of the iconic zebra print walls at the Lizard on North Street

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.

DJ Iain posing for our photographer before going onstage at the Lizard
DJ Iain posing for our photographer before going onstage at the Lizard

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

6 COMMENTS

  1. Congrats on doing the exact same interview, with almost word-for-word the same questions, which Will Lord and STAR did some months ago. Your lack of originality continues to astonish.

    • there’s only so much you can ask a tranny dj. not exactly going to ask his opinion on the syria crisis, or constitutionality in the US debt ceiling crisis, would you?. harsh words chloe, harsh indeed.

        • Except some people read this. While no one listens to Star. And these are questions many wanted asked on a platform they do access. I appreciate this interview. Thank you for it.

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