Interview with DJ Iain: On music, the DJ life and the future of the Lizard

He wouldn’t feel comfortable playing in jeans and a T-shirt.

DJ Iain.

If you’ve ever been to the Lizard, you’ve definitely seen him. And if not, you’ve heard him—calling out names in his famous ‘shout-outs’ or wishing someone a happy birthday. Clad in a dress and tights, with a full face of make-up and a stylish hat to top it all off, he’s hard to miss in our small town.

I got the special opportunity to sit and chat with DJ Iain about a few things, and to clear up some of the rumours that perpetually swirl around St Andrews favourite DJ.

The Stand: When did you first start DJing?
Iain: In the early ’80s.

TS: Did you always know you wanted to become a DJ?
I: Yeah pretty much, some people are born to be DJs…some people are just natural to it. I come into a club and just do what I do.

TS: Is there anything in particular that makes you stand out as a DJ?
I: I use a mic, which not many DJs use nowadays….its an anomaly…most DJs these days just press a button. Also, I take requests—you can come here and ask for what you want to. Most clubs just play house music, but this is mostly R&B and Hip-Hop, so you can play different artists because it’s all a similar type of music.

TS: So you think that’s what makes you unique?
I: Yeah. I mean most DJs don’t dress like me either, but you know.

TS: That brings me to my next question: The dressing up, is it part of the act?
I: Well I’ve always been like this with the fancy dress, but I would also say that I create my own individual style while DJing. It does get you noticed, and gets people talking about you…more than just jeans and a T-shirt. I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing in jeans and a T-shirt.

TS: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at the Lizard?
I: We had a foam party once, that was quite good. Foam was everywhere. But as far as crazy…every weekend is different, but for the most part people just like to come out and have a good time and enjoy themselves. Nightclubs are a place where you can leave your problems at the door.

TS: Do you currently have a favourite song or artist?
I: Prince. I’ve seen him five times, most recently at the Hydro in Glasgow. I’ve been into him since the late ’80s. My favourite song is Purple Rain. And Led Zeppelin is my favourite band.

TS: Is there any song in particular you don’t like?
I: Well, I try to respect all musical artists, so it’s hard for me to say. But present-day music really comes and goes so quickly…different tunes can be at the top from one day to the next. I just sometimes wonder how a song managed to get to number one. But the charts change so quickly and there are so many different charts!

TS: Are there any artists or songs you play especially often?
I: Shakira, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, The Killers’ ‘Mr. Brightside’, Rihanna, Eminem, Sean Paul, R. Kelly…most well-known R&B artists…student anthems….there are too many to count!

TS: How long have you been working at the Lizard?
I: About five years.

TS: And now to clear up the rumours: Is the Lizard closing anytime soon? We always hear things about that!
I: No, those are just rumours.

TS: Anything else?
I: I’m straight, not married, and I don’t have kids!

And a parting quote: ‘Just keep coming to the Lizard and having a good time, and I’ll keep playing what you want! All are welcome!’

Well, there you have it. Rumours squashed and musical avenues explored. So next time you find yourself on North Street around 10:30 PM (and it’s not a late-night library dash) slink your way down the stairs under the Ogstons Hotel for some great music and dancing! And you may want to keep your drunken antics to a minimum: along with a great ear for today’s hottest tunes, DJ Iain has a reallyyy good memory (speaking from personal experience)!

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