Oi Polloi

Interview: Tom Armstrong from The Move magazine

Published: Fri Jan 27 2017

The Move is a new magazine from the people behind that Sabotage Times website. It mainly focuses on music, ‘club culture’ and that sort of thing. To find out more, I pestered editor and main-man Tom Armstrong…

First things first, what is The Move magazine? 

The Move is a magazine for people who love underground music and club culture. There's stuff about vinyl, clothes, raving and everything that goes with it. 

What made you want to start a magazine? 

To show that things are just as exciting in music now as they ever were. I'm proud of what we've achieved in the UK in terms of urban culture, and I wanted to show it's still going on strong now. 

What’s your favourite bit in it? 

I think Grant Fleming's Dancehall photos are bang on, as is Matthew Collin's piece on a UK soundsystem who put on raves in war torn Bosnia during the 90s. We were lucky to have so many talented people wanting to get involved from the off.

There’s been a bit of a resurgence of magazines in the last few years, why do you reckon this is? 

I think it's taken a while, but print is starting to find its feet again after the Internet changed the game. Now is a great time for print because niche publications are flourishing, run by fans for fans. 

What other magazines are you into? 

Jocks & Nerds is quality, Mundial if you're into football, and Private Eye is still unbeatable. Proper have been going for a long time even during print's wilderness years, so respect to them for that. 

As a bit of a recluse who barely goes out, how would you describe ‘club culture’ these days? 

Club culture is still strong, as is underground music culture in this country. The problem is authorities totally mismanaging the night time industry. Fabric may have re-opened on appeal but the mentality that saw it close it in the first place is still very much alive in police and council offices around the UK. That side of it is a fucking joke to be honest, but that's why a sense of community is more important than ever and hopefully the mag can contribute to that. 

What are your thoughts on people turning ‘going out’ into an industry? Big nights like the Warehouse Project and things like that. 

I think the clubbing industry do a great job under difficult circumstances. To make a comparison, Berghain in Berlin is officially considered a place of cultural significance in Germany and even gets a tax breaks because of it. In the UK authorities are lining up to put restrictions on how clubs can operate. It stems from an outdated mentality and is completely counterproductive.  

You say it's difficult circumstances for clubs. How can things move on? 

The creation of the Night Time Industries Association was a positive step, have a look at www.ntia.co.uk to see what they're about. Generally speaking, the contribution that clubs make both financially and socially needs to be better recognised and protected by the authorities.  

Do you think newspapers are to blame for the outdated mentality. Everyone goes to clubs, yet 'clubbers' are still seen as yobbos when it comes to newspaper articles.  

I don't think you can blame newspapers as a whole, certain titles have been supportive of club culture in recent years. Like most things in this country though it's the tabloids that are to blame for the backwards mentality, but I don't think I'm going to surprise anyone by saying that. They've demonised almost every type of youth culture or movement in modern history. Evil bastards.  

I know a lot of people like to go on about the past, but do you think there was a 'golden age' for clubs? 

New York in the '70s and '80s seemed like a uniquely creative time which set the bar for everything that came after it. If I could go back in time to anywhere it'd be there. Having said that, I think that spirit can still be found today if you know where to look — The NYC Downlow at Glastonbury and Horse Meat Disco at The Eagle are good places to start.  

Which clubs do a good job? 

I think the majority of underground clubs in the UK deserve praise just for having the balls to do it.  

Got any decent stories? 

Loads. DJing always throws funny moments and characters at you. Most of them involve being properly spannered though. Being put up in a Vietnamese family's spare room by a promoter who asked us for our fee back the next day was a highlight last year.  

What sort of music are you into at the minute? 

At the mo it's neo-soul at the yard and jungle or garage in the dance. 

Outside of magazines and stuff, what else do you get up to? 

Eating. I must put away more pasta than Tony Soprano. Love a carvery as well. My favourite place to eat though is probably Jerk Hut E17. 

Suppose seeing as we’re a clothes shop, I better ask something clothes-related. What’s your favourite item of clothing? And what's the daftest thing you've worn? 

My favourite item is a Shetland wool jumper bought from Oi Polloi, of all places. I'm not just saying that cos you stock the mag, it really is. Most bastard bit of gear I've worn is probably a pair of fake Moschino newspaper print trousers, bought from Walthamstow market mid-90s. 

Going back to the mag, when can we expect the second issue? What's going to be in it? 

It's out in March. Top secret at the mo, but it'll be more of the same.  

Okay, I think that's all I've got, got any words of wisdom or ancient proverbs?

Always check your pockets for tissues before you put a wash on.

Get The Move magazine here.

Portrait courtesy of Stack Magazines. Magazine shots by Adam Hindmarch.