When: Sun., June 9, 8 p.m. 2013
Bands don’t start much more humbly than the Bats. In 1982, when they played their first gig at a New Year’s Eve party in Christchurch, New Zealand, lead guitarist Kaye Woodward and front man Robert Scott were still learning how to play their guitars. But since Scott was also in the Clean, the flagship band of the great pop explosion stewarded by Flying Nun Records, and bassist Paul Kean had played with NZ punk pioneers Toy Love, they had a bit more going for them than your average living-room rockers. The Bats soon forged an instantly identifiable sound, and 30 years later it’s still solid: Malcolm Grant’s forceful drumming, Scott and Woodward’s sweetly melancholy harmonies, and an intricate lattice of lyrical, economical guitar lines. They also have an enviable catalog of indelible oughta-be alt-pop hits, including the anthemic “North by North” (from their classic first LP, Daddy’s Highway) and “Simpletons,” a haunting memorial for earthquake-flattened downtown Christchurch (from their latest album, Free All the Monsters). The Bats last played here 20 years ago—don’t sleep on this one. —Bill Meyer Magic Gloves open.
Price: $18, $16 in advance