The Bats Profile

Michael Higgins and Rosie Howells
Published: 29 May 2013
Updated: 23 Mar 2021

The Bats are a glorious anomaly. They have endured for three decades without a line-up change in an industry where bands crash and burn without leaving the practice room.

There are also few acts in the Flying Nun canon that inspire descriptions like sweet, gentle and lovely; but their intelligent, folky/country inflected jangle pop has regularly been framed in these terms – which isn’t to say that they don’t have a darker side.

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Chicken Bird Run (Live performance at the Gluepot in Auckland, New Zealand, 14 September 1990) Bob Sutton Collection
Malcolm Grant, Robert Scott, Paul Kean, Kaye Woodward (holding Rose)
Zippy's Last Tour, February 1985
Back cover to The Bats - Foothills (2020).
The Bats - Warwick (2020)
Robert Scott and Malcolm Grant, 1984
Afternoon in Bed
The Bats - Another Door (2020)
The Bats in November, 1989: Malcolm Grant, Kaye Woodward, Paul Kean and Robert Scott
Thousands Of Tiny Luminous Spheres, the 2000 Flying Nun compilation
The Bats and Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos at The Captain Cook, December 1984
The Bats - a documentary by Betsy Payne, 2019
Made Up In Blue
The Bats in 2018, Malcolm Grant, Robert Scott, Kaye Woodward and Paul Kean.
Photo credit: Photo by Dallas Henley
North by North
The Bats - The Deep Set (2017)
The Bats - Foothills album cover (2020).
The Bats - Foothills CD (2020)
Paul Kean, Kaye Woodward, Malcolm Grant and Robert Scott in the mid-1980s
The Bats in a Flying Nun publicity shot from August 1994, used for the release of the 1995 Couchmaster album
A 1986 tour poster after the return from Europe
The Bats - The Deep Set CD (2017).
A montage of early shots of The Bats, Christchurch circa 1983
The Bats - Beneath the Visor (2020)
1995 Flying Nun publicity shot, taken in Christchurch's Hagley Park
Photo credit: Photo by John McCombe
Mansfield (2020), a 12-song collection of New Zealand artists interpreting Katherine Mansfield’s poems. Curated by songwriter Charlotte Yates, the compilation includes songs from The Bats, Delaney Davidson, Anna Coddington, Lawrence Arabia and Julia Deans, among others.
Block of Wood
The Bats at The Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
The Spill The Beans EP cover from 1994
The Bats - No Trace (2017)
Robert Scott, Malcolm Grant, Kaye Woodward, Paul Kean
Photo credit: Photo by Alec Bathgate
The Bats, 1984: Malcom Grant, Robert Scott, Kaye Woodward and Paul Kean
Photo credit: Photo by Frank Shepherd

Robert Scott - guitar, vocals

Paul Kean - bass

Malcolm Grant - drums

Kaye Woodward - guitar, vocals