We met British comedian Patrick Lamb at vrei, a virtual reality lounge in the 7th to talk about comedy, the Viennese and his hood in Hernals
“Nope, I’ve never done this before.”
Patrick Lamb seemed a bit nervous about venturing into the virtual world, but there was still time. His infectious laugh and deep voice are fatherly, or like a good friend who always has the best stories.
He was a late bloomer as a comedian, after having been an illustrator for most of his life. The idea of becoming a comedian came to him at age 40, thanks to a night out that a friend of his recorded.
“There’s a period between beer two and beer eight and the world becomes incredibly funny. And everyone has a wicked time.” They listened and laughed hysterically at the audio recording, and then the decision was made: “I went, ‘Fuck it, I’m a comedian now.’ That’s it.”
“Comedy for me comes from people, people watching. If you go to the Naschmarkt or go to the Donaukanal, people are fascinating.”
Reality meets virtual reality: At this point he was fitted with the Oculus glasses and was guided through the realm of Virtual landscapes, some realistic, some -fantastical. The demo even had a scary bit with a massive T-Rex bounding towards him, bearing its teeth and roaring.
“That was insane!” Patrick was impressed and excited by the experience. “I have to show this to my son.”
The innovative cafe concept brought us onto the subject of Viennese attitudes toward change.
“I think lots of people just try to fit in. Which is tragic because there is an enormous number of people who are incredibly talented and highly intelligent, very interesting people. And they censor themselves. They never do it, they never start. Dear God, just do it!” Although he hates the clichéd usage of the phrase, his pivot to becoming a comedian at age 40 made it ring true. “Fail again, fail better,” he smiled. “But actually, yes! Do it!”
He lives in Vienna’s 17th district and loves it. “Go all the way out there until you can see people selling heroin. And yeah, that’s pretty much my area.” He chuckles.
As he exited the S45 one evening, “there was a tubby Indian taxi driver, he’s listening to sexy music and he is giving it his all. He’s in the zone and he’s doing a sexy dance and there’s me frozen in time,” he laughs. “But I’m so vanilla … I should have joined in.”
Where to find Patrick Lamb in May
“Vienna is great between May & October. The Viennese are miserable complaining bastards in winter, but in summer Vienna turns into this super chill cosmopolitan cool new place.”
Patrick and his son love this public pool in the 16th for the water slide and sunbathing area.
This is Patrick’s Stammlokal. You find him here soaking up the sunshine in their “secret” Schanigarten.
AERA Tickets available at aera.at
Virtual reality is not just for gamers, but boy is it fun to play with. Here’s four things you should know about VR.
1. Mind, blown
But in an age where kids are numb to movie violence, this offers an experience that interacts with your brain like the outside world. It’s even used to treat amputee patients for phantom pain.
2. Oculus Rules The VR market leader is Oculus Rift. In 2015 the company gained momentum when Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook, accelerating the product’s development and public awareness.
3. Fast & Furious The VR industry is growing at a fast pace. Revenues from VR products are expected to increase from $90 million in 2014 to $5.2 billion in 2018 (Source: Statista)
4. VR Advertising
American Express did an ad campaign for the US open in 2015, called “You vs. Sharapova,” in which visitors could play against the famous athlete using a special tennis racket.