Arab Strap (named after a sex aid) are a Scottish indie rock band whose core members are Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton. The band were formed in 1995 and split in 2006, but later reformed in 2011 and again from 2016. As indicated by the title of Belle & Sebastian's third record, The Boy with the Arab Strap, and by Aidan Moffat's involvement in the two Reindeer Section albums, they were a central part of Glasgow's influential late 1990s music scene.
Scots Aidan Moffat (vocals) and Malcolm Middleton (multiple instruments) met in Falkirk and started working together in 1995, after years of exchanging cassette tapes. They signed to Glasgow indie Chemikal Underground and bought in string players Jenny Reeve (violin) and Stacey Sievewright (cello).
Arab Strap's first album 'The Week Never Starts Round Here' was released in 1996 and followed by 'Philophobia' in 1998 and 'Elephant Shoe' (2000), The Red Thread (2001) and Monday at the Hug and Pint (2003). Fellow Scottish band Belle and Sebastian paid tribute to Arab Strap, naming their 1998 album The Boy With The Arab Strap.
Links To Peel
Aidan Moffat was a listener of Peel's show and entered a competion on his show in 1990, where he won a prize to win the Buttsteak's latest single on 31 July 1990. According to Moffat, the single didn't arrive for months and he had given up hopes until he received a written hand written post-it note that read "Apologises for ludicrous delay, John (Peel)" with the single. 
In the mid 90's, Aidan Moffat with Malcolm Middleton formed Arab Strap, who later signed to the Chemikal Underground label, founded by Peel's favourites The Delgados and through that, the band got airplay on Peel's show, where later on they did three sessions for his show.
At the start of the new millennium, Peel seemed to have slowly lose interest in the band, with less airplay of their material.
Festive Fifty Entries
- 2016 Festive Fifty: The First Big Weekend Of 2016 #27
The first two sessions are available on Scenes Of A Sexual Nature (2010, Chemikal Underground, Boxset).
1. Recorded: 1997-07-04. Broadcast: 25 March 1997
- The Smell Of Outdoor Cooking / Soaps / I Saw You / The First Big Peel Thing
2. Recorded: 1998-02-10. Broadcast: 10 March 1998
- Packs Of Three / Piglet / The Night Before The Funeral / Blood
3. Recorded: unknown. Broadcast: 09 May 2000
- The Drinking Eye / Pro (Your) Life / Tiny Girls / Leave The Day Free (10 May 2000)
1. Recorded in Glasgow: 1996-10-15. Broadcast as part of Steve Lamacq's Ten Day Weekend on BBC Radio One.
- General Plea To A Girlfriend
- The Clearing
- Kate Moss
- I Work In A Saloon
- Phone Me Tonight
- The First Big Weekend
2. Recorded in Glasgow: 2000-03-14. Broadcast: 14 March 2000
- Here We Go
- Girls Of Summer
Other Shows Played
- 25 August 1996: ‘The First Big Weekend (7 inch )’ Chemikal Underground
- 15 September 1996 (BFBS): 'The First Big Weekend (7")' (Chemikal Underground)
- 22 September 1996: The First Big Weekend (7") Chemikal Underground
- 23 September 1996 (BBC World Service): The First Big Weekend (single) (JP: "Five minutes of Scottish reality, Trainspotting style. That's the debut single by Arab Strap.")
- 17 November 1996: ‘Deeper (CD - The Week Never Starts Round Here )’ Chemikal Underground
- 07 December 1996: Phone Me Tonight (CD - The Week Never Starts Round Here) Chemikal Underground
- 29 December 1996: 'The First Big Weekend (CD-The Week Never Starts Around Here)' (Chemikal Underground) FF #02
- 06 March 1997: ‘The Clearing (CD Single)’ Chemikal Underground
- 11 March 1997: ‘The Clearing (12 inch)’ Chemikal Underground
- 31 July 1997: Hey! Fever (CD EP: Girls of Summer) Chemikal underground
- December 1997 (FSK): The Smell Of Outdoor Cooking (7") Lissy's
- 02 December 1997: Soaps (Promo Cassette) White Label
- 03 December 1997: New Birds (LP - Philophobia) Chemikal Underground
- 16 December 1997: The Smell Of Outdoor Cooking (7") Lissy's LISS22
- 23 December 1997: 'Hey! Fever (Maxi CD-The Girls Of Summer)' (Chemikal Underground) FF #16
- 10 February 1998: Here We Go (promo CD single - Here We Go & Trippy) Chemikal Underground
- 25 February 1998: Here We Go (CD Single) Chemikal Underground
- March 1998 (FSK): Afterwards (CD - Philophobia) Chemikal Underground
- 11 March 1998: Soaps (album - Philophobia) Chemikal Underground CHEM21CD
- 18 March 1998: Piglet (album - Philophobia) Chemikal Underground CHEM21CD
- 19 March 1998: The Night Before The Funeral (CD - Philophobia) Chemikal Underground
- 25 March 1998: Afterwards (CD - Philophobia) Chemikal Underground
- 25 August 1998: (Afternoon) Soaps (12") Chemikal Underground
- 27 August 1998: Toy Fights (12" - ((Afternoon) Soaps) Chemikal Underground
- 03 August 1999: 'Cherubs (Cherubs)' (Go! Beat)
- 26 August 1999 (Radio Eins): 'Cherubs (CDS-Cherubs EP)' (Go! Beat)
- 28 September 1999: Direction Of Strong Man (LP – Elephant Shoe) Go! Beat
- 21 October 1999 (Radio Eins): 'Pro (Your) Life'
- 11 November 1999 (Radio Eins): Aries The Ram
- 10 May 2000: Leave The Day Free (session) JP messed up his timings on the previous show and had no time for this session track
- 05 November 2000 (BFBS): 'The First Big Weekend (CD-The Week Never Starts Round Here)' (Chemikal Underground)
- 21 November 2000: 'Rocket, Take Your Turn (CDS-Fukd I.D. #2)' (Chemikal Underground)
- 03 January 2001: Love Detective (CD Single) Chemikal Underground
- 04 January 2001 (Radio Eins): Love Detective (CD Single) Chemikal Underground
- 11 January 2001: Love Detective (CD Single) Chemikal Underground
- 15 December 2004 (Rob Da Bank): ‘The First Big Weekend’ (LP- The Week Never Starts Around Here) - (Chemikal Underground)
- ↑ Ken Garner, The Peel Sessions, p.143