You'd be forgiven for thinking it's all about Alexandra's looks and voice. But you'd be missing the point... invest a little more time, listen a little deeper and you'll realise it's also about the clever, witty lyrics; the memorable melodies and the fabulous latin/jazz/swing/reggae flavoured arrangements from those talented Sunflowers!
(Heath Andrews, reviewing "Relax... I Won't Bite...")
The story so far:
By late 2009, Alexandra Legouix ("Al" to her friends) was already carving a reputation for herself as a singer, actress, model and presenter - but she was looking for an outlet for her song-writing ideas. Previous song-writing ventures had always proved frustrating for Al; although she was an inventive lyricist and had good melodic ideas, she felt she needed a co-writing musician who was on the same wavelength, to exchange melodic and lyrical ideas, and to provide chord structures, etc. Everyone she tried to write with seemed to be content with merely copying the latest pop trends... but Al wanted something more challenging and more musically satisfying:
"I wanted to create something unique, drawing on all my influences to come up with a sound that 's modern,
but not clichéd... a unique, cool vibe... something to connect with audiences on several levels"
As luck would have it, she had recently met Martyn "Nero" Ellis whilst playing in a covers band together. To cut a long story short, she asked Nero if he could help her write a set of songs and put a band together for the gig. From the first song-writing session it was clear that they had a shared vision.... three songs came out of that session - Let's Go, Lola and Balcony of Wonder - and at last Al felt that she had found the direction she had been searching for. Nero's jazzy, latin-flavoured guitar grooves gave her the ideal platform to create the kind of songs she knew were within her - playful but poignant, melodic but groovy, sexy but not trashy. Nero says:
"For a muso like me, who's had the misfortune to work with some pretty difficult singers in the past, Al's just a dream to work with. She's always coming up with clever ideas... such creative energy... she works really hard and has amazing natural talent, without being a diva in any way. Best of all, she's got a wicked sense of humour!!
The debut gig was a great success and the rest of 2010 saw them gigging the new band and recording the first batch of songs... the EP "Let's Go" was released in early 2011 and received some great reviews... 2011 saw the band go through various line-ups live, but the core of Al & Nero continued to write new material, much of which appears on their first full album - released late in 2012 - entitled "This One's For You".... but the line up settled down and consisted of Al + Nero with Al's childhood friend Lizzie Sambrook on sax, plus newer additions Tracey Ayer on bass, and James Argyle on guitar. Check out James's solo playing on the video page.
The band subsequently took a break from regular live work while Alex developed her TV career (as a motor-sports pit-lane presenter), which entailed following the WTCC circuit round the world - and while Nero went to live in Turkey for a couple of years. During 2013-2017 the band would try to do the odd gig whenever Al and Nero were both in the UK at the same time.