Two of University of Manchester‘s ex-students and ex-Fuse FM presenters, Dom Moss and Christopher Redman, have popped their love of punk and hardcore, and their vegan lifestyles into one nice bundle to share with the population of our fine city of Manchester in the form of their vegan record shop, V-Revolution on Oldham Street. Having zero clue what a straight-edge lifestyle truly consists of, the pair enlightened me on the subject and discussed the story of V-Revolution so far.
Dani Middleton: Is it strictly punk and hardcore or is there more of a selection to come?
Chris: Piccadilly Records are a big name now and not just in the UK but internationally, they have a more alternative collection, we’re not trying to compete with them, they stopped selling punk and hardcore a long time ago so we want to be able to provide a crossover.
DM: What’ve you been up to in the interim of university and opening the shop?
Dom: Well I’ve actually been an accountant for three years.
Chris: I’ve worked at a bank for that last year.
DM: Is that what your degrees were in?
Chris: Err, no, mine was Politics and Industry.
Dom: And mine was Theology. So that’s definitely what you need before opening a vegan record-shop, a Theology degree and to be an accountant.
DM: Just as I thought. Is the shop gradually coming together as you want it?
Chris: It’s still a work in progress, we’re putting up stuff on the walls and hopefully be able to put together a mini exhibition. One of our friends does a lot of photography so it’ll be good to be able to display some of that.
Dom: People come in and don’t realise just how much space there is, if there are any local artists that want to put up their work in here then we’re happy to do it, hopefully have some private viewings and that sort of thing.
Chris: It should work well for both, I mean we get art to put on our walls and they get to show off their work.
And there’re crossovers with the music, the food and the art. In terms of ethics punk and hardcore question authority and make people look at their lives, obviously the things we eat and consume are a huge part of our lives. Especially in the 80’s when punk was really big, people were just starting to find out what was going into food so it was a pretty natural progression.
Dom: We want people to come in and be comfortable and chat to us about veganism if they want to, I mean we can talk about it all day [laughs], or just listen to music.
Chris: But you’re not going to survive these days if you’re just a record shop you need to be able to provide something more. The music we have is really hard to get in the UK, you have to get from the US and we want to make it more available especially now vinyl has gone so much more mainstream.
DM: What is straight-edge?
Dom: It’s basically no drinking, no drugs, veganism and no promiscuous sex.
Chris: We mostly want to promote a positive message that there are other ways to have fun. Straight-edge is much more common in Europe, it’s more-or-less a given if you’re into punk-hardcore.
I got into it gradually by talking to someone who was a vegan when I was a vegetarian. I was working out a lot at the time and wanted to know how you get enough protein in your diet when you’re a vegan.
We’ll never push it on people but anyone who wants to talk to us about it as a life-style choice can.
Dom: We even have leaflets at the front of the shop that people are more than welcome to take.