...since the wonderful Arab Strap made an appearance at TVV.
For those of you who don't know, Arab Strap were a band from Falkirk, Scotland, comprising vocalist Aidan Moffat and guitarist Malcolm Middleton. They began recording in 1995, released their first album in 1996 and were together for 10 years.
It would be easy to categorise Arab Strap as a miserablist act. Easy but wrong. Yes, many of their songs have sparse arrangements around downbeat lyrics which which see life - and love - as an every day struggle. But there are often some cracking tunes that are as good as anything any other indie act could come up with, and the lyrics are often laugh out loud.
Aidan is a fine singer, but often his delivery is more akin to the spoken word in a very distinctive Scottish accent. Malcolm is a hugely underrated guitar player, best appreciated in the live context, particularly in the latter part of the band's career as his confidence in his own abilities grew.
Arab Strap were fairly hedonistic with drugs and alcohol much in evidence throughout their existence. Arab Strap were a self-deprecating act who never made any great claims about their brilliance despite being one of the most original bands to come out of the UK in the last few years of the 20th Century. Arab Strap above all else, were hugely entertaining and never dull.
It would be fair to say that some of their songs do make uneasy listening, whether for the frankness of the lyrics or the subject matter, while some tunes are less easy on the ear than others. But they've left behind a body of work comprising six studio albums, one live album, one compilation album and around a dozen singles/EPs that were officially released along with a number of live releases and other singles/EPs that had very limited availability for fans/folks attending gigs.
They split up in late 2006. And I miss them.
And although not renowned as a singles band, they certainly had their moments:-
mp3 : Arab Strap - The First Big Weekend (1996)
mp3 : Arab Strap - Here We Go (1998)
mp3 : Arab Strap - Love Detective (2001)
mp3 : Arab Strap - Speed-Date (2006)
Oh and if you're wondering about the photo that accompanies this particular posting, have a listen to the lyrics of Speed-Date.