Friday, May 16, 2008

The Bats: My Way

The request came from Kris:
hey! you wouldn't have the first bats ep? i'd like to hear "my way" which is the only track not on
Compiletely. unless it's a sinatra cover...
Photo credit

I do have it, it’s not a Sinatra cover and now, for The Bats completists, it’s right here.

I’ve said in the past that Sneaky Feelings are my favourite Flying Nun band. I think, more accurately, I like the idea of the Sneaky Feelings more than I like the idea of any other Flying Nun band. Their music is still fantastic, of course, but the one FN band I’ve played more than any other over the years is The Bats.

Their first ep, By Night, isn’t a great start – you’d have to wait until the next release, (And Here Is) Music For The Fireside! for a real classic – but subsequent releases, especially the Daddy’s Highway album and the North by North ep (particularly those three songs on the b-side), are among my most treasured records.

The Bats have a new album due out in the (northern) autumn (label to be confirmed, last I heard) and will be touring the UK with Minisnap.


The Boy and the Cloud said...


i heard minisnap were in london recently?



The Boy and the Cloud said...

one of my favourite bats songs is "straight through my heart". haven't heard "get fat" or "best friend's brain" though.

Chris said...

when you say you like the 'idea' of the sneaky feelings most what exactly do you mean? that they were ignored in nz? that they thought you didn't need to love VU or the fall?

i love sneaky feelings, but it's kinda the idea of them that puts me off a wee bit. the matthew bannister thought they were so held back by the label and should have invested so much more in them, without acknowledging how much the label link would have helped them become known to people like yourself.

sorry for this inquisition, but i'm just curious. like i said i too love SF, just MB comes across as such a jerk in his book and the heavenly pop hits doco.

brogues said...

Are there any good Flying Nun sleeves? They all seem to be kinda ugly :)

FireEscape said...

Kris: Minisnap - or Kaye and Paul - were in London recently and played a very good gig. I understand that the UK autumn tour depends on whether The Bats get a UK label for their new album, which would qualify them for NZ arts council funding to tour overseas. Any UK labels want to release The Bats' new album?
If Get Fat and Best Friend's Brain are unavailable I can post them (as a public service).

Chris: The 'idea' of Sneaky Feelings that attracts me is partly due to them not being easily as easily categorised as other FN bands (who tended to be either awkward post-punk noise or Nuggets pop), but more because of Martin Durrant's Al Green influence, David Pine's countrified leanings and Matthew Bannister's Byrdsian pop. Pretty much what Orange Juice were doing, but very distinctively their own.

Bannister is bitter, agreed. I think he has every right to be inasmuch as Sneaky Feelings' quality wasn't reflected in their sales or popularity, but other FN bands, who might have been more formulaic, got more plaudits. However, he is wrong when he describes The Bats as "studied plainness". I suggest Bannister takes too dry a musical approach in his assessment of other bands; in Positively George St I seldom get the feeling that music quickens his pulse. But Sneaky Feelings often quicken my pulse. They are the sum of their diverse and magnificent parts.

Brogues: Yes, there are some fantastic FN sleeves. I urge you to look at Doledrums, Husband House and Standing At The Edge (the latter of which you own!) as starting points.

Cannue said...

When "send you" came out we will listening to a lot at parties and at our flat in Hamilton, it was and is still a great album. Husband House was even better, its like Pink forst , as it has a true Dunedin feel to , that cold crisp southern winter wind that blows over dunedin on a sunny day in the middle of winter sitting in the octagon. You have to remember the flying nun Dunedin crowd were very into them selves and almost a self contain group and they could be a bit judgmental at times but who isn't at the age of 18-24. Snotty young brats .Any way the general feeling is that husband house was there peak and they went a bit wimpy after that . Blame it on David Pine , the nerd becomes popular , so doesn't want to site around home writing songs, leaving it to matthew.I still brought there other albums.