AKA Ye Avant Gardeners

Formed: Okehampton, Exeter, Devon, England, as Avant Gardener

An amorphous "band" revolving around musical horticulturist Russell Murch, these guys are best remembered for their EP on Virgin, released 1977 as Avant Gardener, which included the dissonant pseudo-pop of 'Strange Gurl In Clothes'. They were absolute musical incompetents but, spirited and brimming with ideas, played Velvet Underground inspired noise.

After a lengthy lay-off, Murch returned with an entirely new group and a revised name (The Avant Gardeners), and signed to an Italian label, Appaloosa. The whole of the EP was re-recorded for the first of two albums, Dig It (1980), which also features a cover of Roky Erickson's 'Two-Headed Dog' and hilarious, brainy originals ('Never Turn Your Back On A Silicone Chip', 'Where Are My Hormones?'). The follow-up, Ye Church Of Ye Inner Cosmos (1984, recorded this time as Ye Avant Gardeners) is equally great.

Somehow akin to the Television Personalities playing Beefheart-influenced prog rock, Avant Gardener(s) may appeal to fans of Alternative TV, Gong, The Fall, Pere Ubu, or even John Otway. I really like 'em.


Russell Murch - vocals, guitar
Martin Saunders - guitar
Nigel Rae - bass
Mike Kelly - drums



Singles & Albums

Avant Gardener - Avant Gardener Avant Gardener (7", 1977)

The Avant Gardeners - Dig It Dig It (LP, The Avant Gardeners, 1980)

Ye Avant Gardeners - The Deadwood Stage The Deadwood Stage (7", as Ye Avant Gardeners, 1983)

Ye Avant Gardeners - Ye Church Of Ye Inner Cosmos Ye Church Of Ye Inner Cosmos (LP, as Ye Avant Gardeners, 1984)

Various Artists

Guillotine UK 10" LP 1977 (Virgin): Strange Gurl In Clothes

Year Zero: The Exeter Punk Scene UK CD 2000 (Hometown Atrocities/Boss Tuneage): Back Door



Punk 77 has some fascinating stuff about 'em


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