If there’s a question I hate being asked more than any other it is “What’s your favourite?”. Be it about films, bands, beers, chocolates, whatever, it is a question that I always struggle with, and the answer will change any time I have to give one.
If push comes to shove though, if forced to name my favourite band Arab Strap are never far from the top of the list.
If you are the kind of person who is reading a Scottish music blog then chances are you won’t need an introduction to Arab Strap, but just in case, here’s the basics. Arab Strap were Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton mainly, with an assortment of friends pitching in at gigs and where needed. Between 1995 and their split in 2006 they released six albums, a clutch of singles and EPs and a couple of obscurities available at gigs, before signing off with a best of, Ten Years Of Tears, which is possibly the most essential “Best Of” album I can think of.
Arab Strap’s final gig at the ABC in Glasgow in December 2006 remains one of my favourite gigs I’ve been too. Complete strangers were hugged, there was singing, there was dancing, and there might even have been a tear or two.
Aidan and Malcolm have of course both continued to make music since the split, and the World is a better place for them being around.
Arab Strap’s first two Peel Sessions are available on the recent reissues of The Week Never Stars Round Here (buy from Amazon/iTunes) and Philophobia (buy from Amazon/iTunes), so I’ll just post one track from the first session, and a later as yet unreleased session.
Arab Strap placed in the Festive Fifty twice, The First Big Weekend at #2 in 1996 and Hey! Fever at #16 in 1997.
Arab Strap – Maida Vale Peel Session 04.03.1997
Arab Strap – Peel Session 09.05.2000
3. Tiny Girls
Aidan Moffat: Website
Malcolm Middleton – Website