Arab Strap's fourth full length 'Chemikal' outing sees them continue to explore a myriad of musical styles (not least the bagpipes, which get their first airing on a Strap album) and if Monday is usually a slow night at The Hug And Pint, you'd never know it from the tracks on show here. Thirteen songs segue and lurch from one theme to another: the wistful reverie of Meanwhile, At The Bar, A Drunkard Muses to the pounding vitriol of Fucking Little Bastards; the pedal steel and violin of Act Of War to the folky melancholy of Loch Leven.
Malcolm sings for the first time since Arab Strap's debut with a track that's also called The Week Never Starts Round Here - no doubt re-invigorated since the release of his solo debut a few months earlier. Monday At The Hug And Pint also features contributions from Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, Mogwai's Barry Burns and another insanely prolific Falkirk son, Bill Wells.
Pointless trivia: You can only imagine our collective delight when we were informed by Aidan that this album was going to be called 'The Cunted Circus'. "No it's not", I believe, was our reply, and protracted periods of febrile debate ensued. Common sense prevailed, finally, when everyone realised that the UK retailing community were unlikely to share our policy of pragmatic liberalism when it came to the use of that particular bon mot...