Are you going The Move on Saturday?’, ‘What you doing for Bank Holiday- The Move?’, ‘Not going out tonight, saving for The Move tomorrow’. These are all fairly common sentences used by a significant proportion of Stoke-On-Trent’s night owls.
The Move has become an essential event for lovers of house, dance, techno, and all things in between for the past five years. It has become so imbedded within our club scene that it is rather hard to imagine a day when it did not exist. The home of the night, currently belongs to both The Exchange and The Sugarmill, reflecting the diverse musical ecosystem that these venues contribute to already.
To celebrate its fifth birthday, on Saturday 2nd July at The Sugarmill, The Move will be back and bigger than ever before, joined by special guest Matthias Tanzmann.
In the run up to the night, I spoke to one of the brains behind the project, and behind the decks, home grown Lee Fredericks, who tells me about the unusual circumstances that created the event, ‘Believe it or not- I was doing a similar thing to you guys!’ Although today The Move is renowned club night it first began just like REBEL, as a local magazine. Lee was the editor of the publication for five years after its creation in 2001, before he resurrected the brand as an events platform in 2011.
It would be Lee’s young love of underground dance music that would lead him to this inevitable path. ‘House music was in its inception in my youth, so it all unfolded in front of me and I feel very privileged and lucky to have been there near the start.’
Growing up with a healthy love of everything from eighties pop to alternative classics like The Police and The Smiths, Lee found himself becoming more and more excited about the formative burst of hip-hop and dance music. ‘I don't think anyone discovers underground music as such, I think most people hear music they like, gain a fascination with it and start to dig deeper, so to speak. That’s when they discover a whole new world of music.’ This is exactly what The Move strives to do.
The first event has become legendary to both Lee and all the individuals who attended that evening at Fat Cats, with a line up including himself and the rest of the founders, Pete Bromley and Matt Erst. Lee proudly looks back on it with fond memories, ‘I love that first night and the first few, where it was a much simpler affair. Promoting a night and DJ’ing at it is a very difficult task, ask any DJ or promotor! So the first was probably the event that I’ve DJ’d the most at since The Move started! Can't remember what got played as it was all pretty hazy but I remember it being a great night.’
Over the years countless performers have joined the hype including Greg Wilson, Flashmob, Maxxi Sound System, Jesse Perez, Horse Meat Disco and Dimitri From Paris. Pushing Lee to pick his ultimate favourite was admittedly a cruel question, ‘That’s an almost impossible question to answer! We always book DJ's that we love or respect or really like their productions, so picking just one is impossible! I think the ones we've booked more than once tell its own story. If I have to name just one, I'll pick Pete Bromley…’ A wise choice.
An even harsher question would be to make Lee pinpoint his favourite event from the fast five years, yet his own personal outstanding line-up features The Martinez Brothers and Detroit Swindle. However, the joy for Lee comes with seeing the excitement of the audience, ‘We've had gigs when the queue has been round the block for the likes of Eats Everything, Hot Since 82 and Seth Troxler. Everyone there had a night to remember.’
Special memories are formed with every event as Lee, Pete, and Matt have had the opportunity to meet and play alongside their heroes, men like Todd Terry and Kenny Dope for Lee. The adrenaline of performing combined with the rush of meeting legendary acts, and watching the atmosphere of an audience explode, has meant that even when things don’t go to plan- the night is still memorable. ‘The first time wAFF played for us everything that could've gone wrong that night did, but the atmosphere was immense and people talked about it for months!’
Saturday 2nd July at The Sugarmill will truly be a special evening, Matthias Tanzmann has been a guest that the team have had their eye on for a very long time and there is sure to be plenty of birthday surprises in store. There is immense excitement in the air for Lee, ‘I genuinely can’t wait to share a drink or two with all the people who've been with us from day one.’
If this article has tickled your appetite for all things house and techno, then you can also get down to The Exchange on Saturday 16th July where Late Nite Tuff Guy will feature at The Move, or The Move Bank Holiday Special at The Sugarmill with Eats Everything at the end of summer.