Old punks, new technologies – who is behind Midlands Punk Rock Video and MPRV News?
Our team consists of two core people, with many others helping out from time to time.
We did say that there’s nothing fake about us, and there isn’t – except for our names. Changed to protect the innocent?
So, who is behind the scenes of MPRV News?
Andy – AKA Brit Lymon
Brit considers himself a late bloomer to punk as in 1979 he was listening to ELO – and a few punk songs. Then his father brought home a couple of albums from the lending library – Sham 69 That’s Life and The Stranglers The Raven – and he never looked back!
Although back in the 80s he nearly sang for a known band from Birmingham, he’s not a musician; he got involved in the punk music world in other ways. He was a Soap & Stamps guy who had a non-profit label called New Dawn Tapes, using the label to spread the word of worldwide punk to people who had only been listening to British punk. Live gigs, demos, all on those C90 tapes that we remember fondly.
Not satisfied with just audio, he started a video label, Hardcore Holocaust, which was Soap & Stamps with moving pictures. I think we can see the roots of MPRV beginning back then…
He then drifted into taking photos at punk gigs for a few years. Some of his photos of UK bands can be found in Ian Glasper’s book on UK hardcore. His photos have also appeared on records and even in an exhibit at the Birmingham Museum.
He’s seen some of the iconic bands in their prime, including the Bad Brains (in 1983, the best gig he’s ever seen – still) and Crass – and in 1990 saw Green Day in a friend’s basement in Bloomington, Indiana playing to 70 people. His musical passion is early American hardcore, roughly 1980 – 84.
He got into recording live gigs on video when a former girlfriend came over on a visit, and he wanted to film a lot of the trip as a DVD memory for her. They went to a Drongos For Europe show in Birmingham, which he recorded and after watching the footage he got the bug to film more bands to send over to her – and the videos quickly evolved into something more.
During 2016, Brit worked with an American YouTube channel as their UK reporter, and in January 2017, the decision was made to move on and returning to his original goal with the videos – promote the bands honestly and genuinely.
Shelley – AKA Shell Lemon
Shell vividly remembers her introduction to punk. It was 1977, and pre-teen Shell took her birthday money into a small local record shop – her mother patiently waiting for her in the car! – and asked the man behind the counter what was new and interesting. He handed her Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. That was it, life as she knew it changed for this young American girl!
A few years later, after an earshattering number of listens to Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys, Discharge, GBH and the like, she found herself at university and behind the microphone and turntables at her university’s radio station, WCSB 89.3fm Cleveland, Ohio. This was just as the thrash scene began to emerge, and Shell was combining thrash with hardcore and punk on her weekly radio show, with a large number of the songs played coming from tape trading and talking to other people who loved the music just as much as she did. Soap and Stamps, American style. She also had a small fanzine, Thrashcore that was sent to people around the globe.
Over the years, Shell’s interviewed countless bands, including Slayer, GBH, Megadeth, GG Allin, Quorthon (Bathory), SOD, Agnostic Front, Celtic Frost, Anthrax, Roger Miret and the Disasters, Voivod, MDC, Reagan Youth, and many more that she just doesn’t remember this moment! She was the Underground Editor of the Alternative Press, a contributor to many magazines over the years, including Zero Tolerance magazine and has shot photos for Terrorizer magazine. She also spent two weeks on tour in Europe with Russian punk legends Тараканы! (Tarakany!) and Marky Ramone on a special Ramones Night tour, shooting photos and manning the merch stall from time to time. She also has done some guest slots at Radio LoRa in Zurich, Switzerland when she was living there.
During 2016, Shell also worked with the American YouTube channel, and was happy when the decision was taken to go off on our own and begin MPRV News.
A long-time resident of the UK (after years of living in Sweden and Switzerland first), Shell takes a lot of photos at gigs and is both behind the video camera when Brit is in front or is in front of it herself, talking to another of the bands that make up (or pass through) the vibrant UK punk scene.