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The Pterodactyls


Clangy Auckland post-punk/indie-pop group. Featuring Richard James and David Ford (later both of The Letter 5), along with Jeff Batts and newcomer Kenneth Stewart – all ex-Dunedin. Richard James would later be replaced by another ex-Dunediner – Martin Kean (a couple years before he’d gone on to form UK/French group Stereolab).

Formed in 1985 and eventually released a single-sided LP (i.e. an EP) on Palmerston North’s Meltdown Records in 1987; one of the very last vinyl artifacts pressed in New Zealand at the old EMI factory. They also had a stellar track (Richard James’ ‘Everytime it rains’) included on Flying Nun’s ‘Outnumbered by Sheep‘ compilation – highlighted by the NME as a “prospective indie hit“.

Kean’s bass is prevalent on a couple tracks – as are the wonky vocals from Jeff Batts (reminiscent of his former group The Stones). The 2nd half of the EP has more of a Sneaky Feelings vibe with Richard James’ songs taking over.

The group played support for Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers in late 1985, and ended up playing the Meltdown Records-organized Rheineck Rock Festival in late March 1987.




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