Singer, songwriter and founder of Sharkboy, Avy’s brand of washed out cinematica became the cult choice of kids who didn’t feel the need to buy into the Brit Pop juggernaut. The band marries the reductive sparseness of Avy’s writing and prose with the concert level playing of Adrian Oxaal, forging an ambitious and left-of-centre musical style that anticipated the rise of both loungecore and alt country.
Invited by Brett Anderson to accompany Suede on their first major rollercoaster tour, Sharkboy’s use of space, strings and brass with its marked atmospheric force put them apart and still divides critics.
Described as ‘Bohemian royalty’, Avy stood to one side with Sharkboy during the Indie/Brit wars of the ’90s along with the likes of Drugstore and Gallon Drunk. The band produced two critically acclaimed albums for Nude Records, while Avy mined US and European cultural themes such as the influential indie film ‘Paris, Texas’, the work of Wim Wenders, the Beat poets and white trash imagery portrayed by Gus Van Sant.
At the end of the millenia she briefly collaborated with Robin Guthrie, formerly of the Cocteau Twins. Following a relationship breakdown and the folding of Sharkboy, she found a brand new role as bass star with Brighton band The Fuck You Planet Earth, joining childhood friend and punk outsider artist Marc Johnson, the band’s music redolent of Lemmy-era Hawkwind and Echo and the Bunnymen. During this time she briefly met Mark Linkous while he toured the UK, and he remains a huge influence on her subsequent work.
Avy, now married and living on the South Coast, continues to write and record, releasing vinyl recordings on her own label Firehorse! Recordings. Rockhard Garçons continues the skewed, personal story-world of sound, with sometime labelmate and collaborator Laurence Downes contributes on vinyl releases and live sessions when not working with Johnson as The Rock and Roll Wall Of Death.
Avy is currently in pre-production with Sharkboy.
(Image: Howard Halsall)