In the Belfry

They've been around since 1982, releasing their first recordings in 1984. They've been in the American college radio charts over three decades and they're still going strong - releasing a new album and retrospective EP and playing around the world this year. The Bats haven't been consistently active over their 27 year career, often due to the many musical commitments of band member Robert Scott, however, they have been consistently excellent. The melodic pop and chugging bass lines of the The Bats have become iconic, internationally known as one the key alternative New Zealand bands along with the likes of The Chills and The Clean.

This year The Bats released album The Guilty Office, retaining all of their key elements of their sound but expanding it a little with more vocals from Kaye Woodward and a touch of strings. They've also released an EP, Don't You Rise, collecting unreleased songs from 1998-2003.

While releases by The Bats have been fairly sporadic over the years there's also been solo material by Robert Scott, Scott's ongoing work with The Clean and from the other three members, side project Minisnap, who have been releasing material in a similar vein to The Bats, but with Kaye Woodward on vocals since 2002. Minisnap released EPs in 2002 and 2004, followed by their debut album Bounce Around in 2008 and later in that year a 7"single, 'Whistler' on Cloudberry records. The Clean have also released a new album, Mister Pop, this year and Robert Scott has been consistently releasing solo material since instrumental solo debut the Creeping Unknown in 2001, taking in pop and historical folk songs from Otago along the way.

This year The Bats have been touring the world, from Spain to the US and, of course, New Zealand. They'll play Dunedin later this year at a show which will be filmed for fans around the world who would love to be there but can't make it. The video of two songs from each of the three acts on the bill, The Bats, David Kilgour and The Puddle will be released to virtual ticket holders around the world following the show, and as an extra those who but tickets get a bundle of mp3s of unreleased songs before the show too. You can get your tickets at Undertheradar.

The entire set of The Bats playing is Spain is available for free download at the Free Music Archive and videos from The Bats, Robert Scott and Minisnap are available on the video page.

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