As a world first, The Bats will perform their brilliant new album The Deep Set in full, accompanied by a string section in the intimate surrounds of the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent at Meriton Festival Village.
“Four decades into their career, The Bats continue to produce sparkling and chiming pop that sounds as fresh now as it does when David Lange was New Zealand’s Prime Minister” – Noisey
“The Bats were as much about shifting sadness into pop transcendence as they were about crafting melancholic tunes… The Bats are a crucial part of the Flying Nun story, as well as the story of New Zealand music” – Popmatters
“Remarkably, the band’s original lineup remains intact. So too does that dreamy, disconsolate feeling that settles in whenever The Bats’ best music takes hold and nimbly seeps under your skin” – Pitchfork
The Deep Set is a potent distillation of The Bats as we’ve known and loved them for 35 years. Still in their original line-up, which has stood firm since 1982, New Zealand’s own “Fab Four” have applied their everlasting pop smarts to deepen the sound they created – layering Robert Scott’s ever catchy and dreamy song writing with distinctive guitar jangles, shimmering harmonies and heightened emotion courtesy of cello, viola and violins. By shrugging off any pretensions of heritage and keeping their gaze always grounded in the now, The Bats have become truly vital pop artisans of the 21st century.
Five years after the release of their last critically acclaimed album, The Bats return with album number nine, The Deep Set (out January 27 on Flying Nun). With the title conveying the long established and firmly embedded, it’s notable that its 30 years since The Bats began recording their debut album in the living room studio of a friend of a friend in Glasgow.
As always the key to The Bats is the emotion that their (seemingly) simple songs carry. They continue to mine that Mainland melancholy; the kind that somehow never risks being depressing. But of course that means there is lament and nostalgia, even if it’s only for last night.
Having debuted their new album in full, The Bats will also take a rip roaring trip down memory lane to deliver a greatest hits set laden with riches. Celebrating 30 years since their classic debut Daddy’s Highway – one of the outstanding albums from the Flying Nun label’s golden age in the 1980s – The Bats will delve into the canon of glorious indie-pop songs for which they have become so loved, and which continue to wield a mighty influence across the pond with a new generation of Australian daydreamers.
Where Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, Meriton Festival Village
When 29 January at 5pm (The Bats)
Tickets General Admission $40 + booking fee (M)
Bookings Sydney Festival on 1300 856 876