With a career spanning over three decades, The Bats are still producing to this day chiming and captivating indie pop music which sounds as fresh today as it did when David Lange was the Prime Minister of New Zealand way back in the 80’s era.

This classic band continued to defy the odds and amaze us with their ninth full-length album, The Deep Set. The great band of the south is back to remind us how connective, lovely and sweet pop songs can be.

Quick Start Guide The Bats:

The Bats band has existed since 1982 with the same basic sound and same lineup, and every record they unveil is as great as the last. Each track has winsome melodies, a trademark bounce, and jauntily interlocking guitars, which their fans have come to love for many years.

While it’s predominantly a Christchurch band, the band have hefty links to Dunedin and are often classed with the Dunedin Sound musicians that started in the early 80s. The group has maintained the same 4 members from 1982 to date.

The band has had great success including two compilations and seven albums, three EP’s, several international successful tours as well as receiving excellent reviews from each corner of the music press.

The Bats is an iconic New Zealand rock band founded in 1982 by Robert Scott (The Clean) lead songwriter on the lead guitar and vocals, guitarist/singer Kaye Woodward (Minisnap), drummer Malcolm Grant (The Builders) and the bassist Paul Kean (Toy Love).

After a series of EPs, they unveiled their exceptional debut album; Daddy’s Highway in 1987 and from there it’s been a stream of much-admired albums while gaining great fans and friends around the world.

In the early 80s, Kaye Woodward and Robert Scott used to share accommodation in Christchurch. Robert was already a guitarist in The Clean and had also performed with the bassist Paul Kean in a short-lived band, Thanks To Llamas.

After Robert taught Woodward some of his tracks, the three started playing together at various parties as The Percy Taiwan Band. After enrolling Malcolm Grant of The Bilders on the drums, they decided to rename themselves: The Bats.

The Bats first played in Dunedin on New Year’s Eve, 1982. Over the following 2 years, they participated in the live music setting in Dunedin and Christchurch, before unveiling their first EP, By Night (1984), on a nascent alternate New Zealand record label, Flying Nun.

The group spent the next 2 years touring Australia and New Zealand, and issued another EP, And Here Is ‘Music for the Fireside’ (1985). The early releases of the band were involved some small budget but original music videos, especially ‘Downfall,’ ‘I Go Wild’ and ‘By Night.’

The group then visited Europe and spent time touring Germany and Britain, including playing support for Alex Chilton. In Dec. 1985, they did record the Made Up in the Blue EP at the 24-track Point Studio in London, UK.

‘Made Up in Blue,’ the first track unveiled in the United Kingdom by Flying Nun, was named ‘Single of the Week’ by a prominent British magazine, NME. An associate in Glasgow provided the use of his home 8-track studio, and half of the singles for what would turn out to be their first album were recorded there.

Career Highlights:

The band’s second album continued to express a constant Bats sound. It featured Alastair Galbraith on the violin, as did Daddy’s Highway. In 1991, they issued Fear of God. It spent 3 months on the French top 50 album charts. Also in 1990, Flying Nun re-issued the first three EPs of the band on a single collection CD.

From 1995, the band took a break, with the members of the group focusing on nurturing families and on different musical projects. Robert joined his former band on the reunion tour, and unveiled a solo album, The Creeping Unknown, in 2001, whereas Kean, Grant, and Woodward established another group.

In 2000 the collection album; Thousands Of Tiny Luminous Spheres was issued on Flying Nun Records. The band continued to play irregular gigs, often starting as Minisnap and completing with the full lineup of Bats.

In Oct. 2010, the band performed at the free relief concert in the Hagley Park after the Sept. 2010 Canterbury earthquake in front of nearly 140,000 people. The Christchurch’s Mayor at the time, Bob Parker, joined them for their performance and even played the guitar.

In 2011, the band reunited with their former label Flying Nun and unveiled their 8th album, Free All the Monsters that Pitchfork described it as “…their best record in years, possibly ever”. Forte Distribution in the United Kingdom & Europe, Revolver/Midheaven Distribution in the United States, and Mistletone Records in Australia released the album. Also, it was nominated for the 2012 Taite Music Prize.

Present Status:

Last time we had a look The Bats were still touring and playing to packed out shows.