MPF Interview: Screech Bats

Interview by Sarah Williams. A shorter version is published in the Manchester Punk Festival programme, for which this was written. You can download the programme here. If you haven’t already, be sure to grab your MPF2019 tickets before they sell out!

Alt-rock four piece Screech Bats are sadly calling it a day at Manchester Punk Festival 2019. We’ve caught them live a few times and enjoyed their 2018 EP Wish You Were Her (as well as being consistently jealous of their next-level eyeliner wielding skills), so we’re sad to see them go. We took our last chance to have a chat with the band.

MPF is sadly going to be Screech Bats final show, and you’re treating it as a funeral for the band. Do you have any special planned that you can share with us?

We are planning to go out of this world just like we came into it: screaming, disoriented and sodden with goo.

If there a reason you’ve decided to use MPF as your send off?

MPF is a festival that we really wanted to tick off the bucket list, so it just made sense to go out on a high. Plus, for Christmas our mate adopted Esme a pig called Truffles that lives just outside Manchester, in a Pig & Terrapin sanctuary in Rochdale, so we can all go pat her on the belly for some post funeral sad-be-gones.

If you were giving a eulogy for Screech Bats, what would you say?

It’s true what they say; live by the probe, die by the probe.

What’s been your proudest moment with the band?

Getting a review for our latest EP that included the sentence ‘not to be liked by anyone with good taste in music, ever’.

And what’s been the toughest moment as a band?

Aside from the occasional onstage lip slip, the toughest times have been being mistaken for the band’s girlfriends instead of the band at shows we were headlining… or mistaken for strippers instead of the band at shows we were headlining… also sometimes Kit brings sandwiches that are so dry the birds won’t eat them and they are pretty tough.

Why are you deciding to call it a day now?

Screech Bats was only ever meant to be about having fun, and it’s been exactly that. Sadly however, over the last year it’s been getting hard to find the time to fit this band in around other life commitments. Esme and Kit run a busy tattoo studio and Lexi and Rio are both part of other bands that are doing well.

We reached a point where we’d be looking at the calendar and not even being able to find a single night in a six week period that we could all meet for a practice, let alone work on new material or book shows. It was a really tough and pretty heart-breaking decision, but we all wanted to kill it while it was still fun, before it became a chore for any one of us.

At Screech Bats’ funeral I assume you’ll mostly play your own songs, but which songs would you choose to be played at your own funerals?

  • The Jurassic Park Theme Tune
  • Where Is The Twat? – Danny Dyer Remix
  • Sissy That Walk by RuPaul

Have you been to Manchester Punk Festival before? If so, what do you think makes it so special?

Our good friends in Drones played last year and we have heard nothing but excellent tales. We’re super excited to check out the Punk Cinema, visit the comedy and poetry stages, eat some vegan street food and of course watch some excellent music. The biggest bonus for us is that so many of our friends are playing, so its gonna be a big ol’ mates fest for our last show!

Who are you most excited to see at MPF?

The Arteries, Sonic Boom Six, Nervus and Big Joanie… They’re all on the Friday!!!!

Manchester Punk Festival takes place on April 19-22nd across 9 music venues in the Rainy City. Tickets are still available but running short; be sure to grab yours from the MPF website.

Read more from Sarah Williams here.


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