ARAB STRAP | TEN YEARS OF TEARS
Farewell compilation album released early 2007
After six studio albums, three live albums and countless gigs, Arab Strap
are to split up. A book-end compilation album and a celebratory farewell
tour will mark the end of Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton's ten year
relationship. The Last Romance, released in 2005, will remain their final
"There's no animosity, no drama. We simply feel we¹ve run our course,"
explains Aidan. "The Last Romance seems the most obvious and logical final
act of the Arab Strap studio adventure. Everybody likes a happy ending."
Titled Ten Years Of Tears (a nod to the critics who frequently pegged Arab
Strap as "Falkirk miserablists'), the compilation is by no means a
traditional 'Best Of' collection. Comprising B-sides, demos, remixes, new
recordings, live tracks and Peel sessions, it's a handpicked selection
designed to give a full picture of this unique band.
"The idea of the compilation is to capture the essence of the band over our
ten year career," says Malcolm. "Sometimes the albums were a bit stifled
because we were worrying too much about making a good album. I think that
live versions of songs and b-sides etc show a truer, more relaxed side to
the band. Ten Years Of Tears can serve both as an introduction to Arab Strap
and also a fitting finale to those people who have followed us along the
Acquaintances on the Falkirk scene, Aidan and Malcolm became friends in
1995. They soon began making music together, telling twisted tales of messy
sexual encounters, shit jobs, titanic drinking sessions and the twisted
chemistries of human relationships. They called themselves Arab Strap after
a sex toy Aidan spotted in a porn mag.
Signing to Chemikal Underground, they released their debut single, The First
Big Weekend, a tale of Aidan and Malcolm's adventures on the weekend
Scotland were knocked out of Euro '96, in September of that year. A cult
classic, it's included on this compilation along with a recording from their
debut live performance. Over the years that followed, we were given
countless glimpses into the intimately private lives of our two
protagonists, whether they were pondering the risk of STDs (Packs Of Three)
or wondering if they'd get to shag that friend of the cellist from Belle &
Sebastian (I Saw You).
"No one really writes honest, hateful love songs," Aidan once said. "The
kids never hear it like they should hear it. They should know of the
farting, the fighting and the fucking. The pain and the pleasure."
Together, Aidan and Malcolm have created some of the most beautifully
observed and brutally painful music of the last ten years. The album ends,
appropriately enough, with the triumphal There Is No Ending. The story
continues with Malcolm's solo career (he's currently recording his new album
with Tony Dougan at The Castle Of Doom in Glasgow) and Aidan¹s recordings as
his alter ego L. Pierre (new album 'Dip' released early 2007) and a
spoken-word album and tour in late 2007. And then there's this album, which
serves as a key to that astonishing back catalogue. Future generations who
want to know about the farting, the fighting and the fucking will hopefully
know where to look.