Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Megabats - Jazz Room, Bangor 9th February 1984

The Megabats were formed by Ominous Dr Clip Clop mastermind Maeyc Hewitt in 1983. Initially a three piece comprising Maeyc on guitar and vocals, Ian McMillan on bass and drummer Mark Thomas (ex-Inadequates / Ghostriders / Hot Water), they soon added Phil Layton (ex-Kärnarvøn Kästle) to the line-up, initially on sax but increasingly on Vox Continental organ.

Maeyc Hewitt and Mark Thomas     photo: Ann Matthews
The Megabats played regularly around the Bangor area, and supported chart biggies Haircut One Hundred on one occasion and up and coming press darlings The Smiths on another (14th October 1983). Most of the group's material was written by Maeyc, some of which ("Flags", "Betrayed") had previously been aired in a different form by The Pinecones, and others would later be adapted for future groups - "Sunday Sunday" (not played at this gig) by Reinheitsgebot and "Australians" by Third Spain, all of who can be found elsewhere on this site.

Maeyc Hewitt and Ian McMillan     photo: Ann Matthews
Their organ-powered garage rock sound was at times reminiscent of The Blue Orchids or The Modern Lovers, but Maeyc's distinctive songs and vocals gave The Megabats a sound very much of their own, and the group really cooked live, driving audiences into a frenzy.

Very few recordings of the group have come to light, although one further live recording in addition to this one is known to exist but is yet to surface. Here however, we present a full length 65 minute headline set from the Students Union Jazz Room in Bangor, capturing the group at their creative peak.

Phil Layton     photo: Ann Matthews
In Summer 1984, Phil moved away, his University course having finished and the group disbanded, Maeyc and Ian joining up with Alan Holmes, Scott Saunders and Emyr Tomos to form Reinheitsgebot. After a couple of gigs however, Mark returned to the fold, replacing Emyr on drums in November 1984.
Ian McMillan     photo: Ann Matthews

Megabats live at the Jazz Room, Bangor University 9th February 1984

Maeyc Hewitt - guitar, vocals
Ian McMillan - bass, backing vocals
Mark Thomas - drums, backing vocals
Phil Layton - organ, sax, mini-synth

1  Betrayed
2  Runaway Sky
3  Breathless
4  Silver
5  Tonight
6  Australians
7  Green and Grey
8  Flags
9  Big Step
10  Underground
11  Swans
12  Australians

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