Ah, Arab Strap...the first band that we ever signed from a demo, Aidan and Malcolm would become central figures in Chemikal Underground's development - making two landmark albums with us in 1996 and 1998 before embarking on a spell with Go! Beat. They would return to Chemikal in 2000 and go on to release another four albums before eventually calling it a day towards the end of 2006.
Over and above their remarkable albums as Arab Strap, Aidan and Malcolm have also cultivated successful solo careers: Malcolm releasing under his own name and giving Chemikal Underground another two great albums; Aidan releasing material as L. Pierre and Lucky Pierre on Manchester's Melodic label and as Ben Tramer on our own Fukd ID series. Aidan continues to enhance Chemikal's catalogue with the critically acclaimed, largely spoken word "I Can Hear Your Heart" and, under the guise of Aidan Moffat & The Best Ofs, the fetchingly titled "How To Get To Heaven From Scotland."
All that rather dry info aside, it cannot be overstated just how important Aidan and Malcolm's musical output has been for Chemikal Underground. With their Arab Strap albums, they would develop a unique style almost entirely of their own - Aidan's bone dry, confessional delivery wrapped in Malcolm's effortless guitar playing would inspire and enthrall a devoted fanbase that stuck with them through every mordant chapter of their career. From their irreverently bold, kitchen sink debut - that predated The Streets by almost eight years - through to the resolutely upbeat, if no less thoughtful explorations of The Last Romance, Arab Strap remain one of music's most precious commodities: a fearlessly original band who were strangers to compromise.