FESTIVAL Q&A – Paul Lambie, Busk on the Beach

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Deadline News reviews and reports from Edinburgh Festival FringeAS PART of Deadline at the Fest, we are interviewing performers across the month by putting 20 questions to them. While the Beach Busk is not yet part of the official Festival line up, it has become a must-visit August fixture in the city.

 

Paul Lambie, 40, calls himself “some kind of designer” and juggles a number of jobs in design and television.
He also part-owns the legendary Skylark bar in Portobello.
A light-bulb moment to bring live music on the promenade of that little seaside suburb almost a decade ago has mushroomed into a mini-festival itself.
The Beach Busk on August 26, now attracts thousands of visitors and hundreds of musicians of all ages and abilities, for a day-long jamming session that rivals the big guns in Edinburgh.

Paul Lambie, organiser of Portobello's Busk on the Beach festival
Photo by Danielle Trudeau

First impressions of our fair city and, why are you here?
I fell in love with Edinburgh the first time I walked from the bus station to Dalry so I stayed and now I live here all year round down by the beach.

Does the festival bring on joy or dread?
As a local, I’m on the other side. The visitors bring me joy. Mostly. I love hearing what people think of Porty. I love seeing their faces when they walk down Bath Street and see the sea.

Are you a happy soul or do the occasionally dreich elements make you morose?
I live by the beach. I have my down moments but even the dreich is powerful when you’re by the sea.

Where will you visit on your day off and why?
Portobello is where people go to get away from the festival. I’ll take a couple of days up town seeing some shows but mostly I’m on the beach.

Do you ever get jealous of other performers? Can you name one or two?
I don’t really get jealous. Everyone’s doing something different. It’s all part of the rich tapestry hingmy.

Did you have a happy childhood?
Yup, I lived in the countryside for the most part. I may have been one of the last pre- digital, pre-global, paranoia generation of kids, who could ramble about all day unsupervised with a pen knife in my knapsack.

What does failure mean to you? Does it make you shrink or grow?
Failure would be not trying. Does that make sense? The outcome is less interesting to me than the process.

Are you superstitious when it comes to performing?
I try never to consciously perform. I think it’s all genuinely me. For better or worse.

What is your biggest fear before going on stage?
I worry that it’ll rain and that no one will turn up.

What is your favourite saying?
‘I have the strength of 10 men, who each have the strength of 10 men.’

What is your worst habit?
I pick my nose. I hate that.

What do you love/hate about the festival?
Crowds make me anxious but I love seeing loads of folk having fun.

Tell me about your most passionate embrace.
It was by a bus stop. We got married.

Do you wear knickers under your kilt?
A contemporary trunk. I also wear under-crackers beneath my trousers and shorts.

Most embarrassing moment?
I farted on a film set once during a take. Yesterday I confused cervix and cervical. The vagina and the spine. That was embarrassing.

Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
My flat by the beach.

Who would you be if you were not you?
Would that person be me? Would we swap? Would we know about it? I have a cousin who’s not very well right now. We could swap for a bit and my cousin would get a bit of a break.

What Scottish delicacies do you intend to sample and, do any of them fill you with fear?
I’ve tried them all I think. I haven’t tried that piss cured puffin thing. Industrial farming gives me the fear. If we’re cool with all this torture and murder what are we doing to our minds? That fucks me up daily. And piss cured meat.

What is your greatest ambition?
I’m quite keen to leave the world in better condition than when I found it.

How can we bring world peace?
If everyone, without exception, agreed to try and make their immediate environment a wee bit better, or at the very least not to make it worse, we’d get peace fairly quickly I think. Is that naive?

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