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24 September 2014
Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - South East: Monday 27th January, 2003

SO SOLID CREW

Harvey on BBC's Never Mind the Buzzcocks
MC HARVEY | So Solid with the South West

The 'enfant terribles' of the Garage music scene - So Solid Crew have been making headlines since their first release. We take a look at one of the crew - MC Harvey.

So Solid Crew are both the face of the urban Garage music scene and unlikely pop divas. The loose collective of around 30 artists, who perform together under the So Solid name, have risen from South London's underground clubs, radio stations and sound systems.

They generate sensational headlines in the popular press with news of gun-toting and gang violence surrounding them.

Harvey and Nora - Grandson and Grandmother
Harvey and grandmother Norah relax in front of the TV

But for one member of the crew, MC Harvey, his roots can be traced back, past the urban sprawl of South East London to the South West of England.

Harvey is only 22 but he has already been a professional footballer for Chelsea before MCing for the So Solid Crew. Now he is adored by his teenage fans and has been voted the sexiest black man on earth.

Away from the limelight Harvey can often be found paying a visit to Plymouth with his fiancée, Alesha from Mis-Teeq, to see his grandmother Norah.

In the 1950s Norah was waitressing in a cafe in Plymouth's Union Street when a young merchant seaman from Sierra Leone called in. Abu looked lonely - she felt sorry for him. Soon they were dating and in love.

Nora and Abu - Wife and Husband
Norah and Abu struggled against prejudice for 30 years

Norah's father was against the multiracial relationship, but they married anyway, and had two children together in Plymouth. But prejudice made their life impossible.

Abu found it hard to find work or somewhere to live. Norah was called names and spat on in the street. Eventually they moved to multiracial Tiger Bay in Wales and raised four more children, making six in total.

The marriage lasted nearly 30 years, but when Abu and Norah decided to split, Norah moved back to her beloved Devonport, bringing with her daughter Jennifer. And Jennifer gave birth to Harvey or 'Junior' as his grandmother calls him!

So Solid Facts

Harvey spent four years as a professional footballer with Chelsea

The name So Solid was originally used by the group to promote Garage parties

In August 2001, the band hit number one in the singles charts with '21 Seconds'

The group have scooped both a MOBO Award for Best British Act and also a Brit Award for Best Video

Harvey adores his grandmother. He and Alesha shunned the limelight to spend this Christmas with her and the rest of his family in Devonport.

Sadly, Abu died four years ago and never got see his grandson's success. But Harvey says he believes Abu is watching over him. Of his gran he says, "She is a good woman and she deserves respect 'cos everyone who meets her thinks the same. I love her to death, man".

Norah can hardly believe the positive legacy of her and Abu's struggle. She says;

"to think that we, despite all the prejudices we went through, could produce a grandson who became famous. It's wonderful".

See also ...

On bbc.co.uk
Radio 1 - So Solid Crew

On the rest of the web
So Solid Crew - Official Website
So Solid Planet

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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Readers' Comments

We are not adding any new comments to this page but you can still read some of the comments previously submitted by readers.

charlotte panther
I think that people who are prejudice are so mean. Why cant they just leave people alone cos they're not perfect either, they have a bigger problem being prejudice.

I feel the same way about bullying and I respect Harvey and his grandmother and the so solid crew are my favourite band bacause I respect their rights.

kamille
I love harvey to death and i think having this website is excellent especially for the fans.

Sydney W. Harvey
Junior is my nephew and I am very proud of him. "Bigup my yut' Uncle Syd Atlanta GA.

lauren
harvey is the finest person i have ever seen.

christina juba
I think this programme Is very inlightining, It showed a different side of harvey, (A SIDE I KNOW I LIKE) and I hope I will be seeing more programmes showing not just harvey, but each indivdual member of the so solid crew and there backgrounds. Comments from the south-west side. Christina juba.

J'n'S
We thought the programme was extremely interesting, we enjoyed learning about harveys background and his family.

Being big fans of harvey and the so solid family, we hope to see more positive programmes like this, that show the so solid crew as real people, and not just thugs on TV.



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