time in Falkirk for ages. and we were convinced that. if the guy who‘s in “Trippy” was there. he was going to come and batter
‘Did we mention his name on it‘." asks Aidan.
'Ayc. a couple of times. Note this "Did we mention his name?" It was you. it was you.‘
‘We get a kicking for our art.‘
‘I couldn‘t sing a single note at the
sert'it‘e/W/ten they did "How Great Tltou
ArI"/AII I could think of was my old LP of
hymns by Ell‘IS.‘ ‘The Night Before The Funeral‘
Arab Strap on record isn‘t the same as Arab Strap live. In the studio. Malcolm plays all instruments (with a few guest musicians thrown in). while Aidan programmes the drum machine and does the vocals. In the pub with
We're fucking Page and Plant, you know? It's not like he does all us.‘ the music and I come and blether shite over the top Of it: Aidan Moffat
us are the other two members of the touring team: drummer David Cow and bassist Gary Miller.
The band‘s new material is more coherent than it was on the first album. The Week Never Starts Round Here. Now the pace of the music tells the story as tnuch as the words. Although listeners might come to new LP Philophobia for the desolate. dead-end lyrics. it‘s the music that will keep it spinning on the turntable.
‘On the first album. Aidan had the words set out and I had the guitar bits set out.‘ Malcolm explains. ‘l’d play the guitar down the phone to him or he‘d give me a tape of his words. and then we‘d just come together. But with the second album. we didn‘t have anything planned. We went in and did the music first. then put the words over the top of it. It works because the music has a certain feel to it. and the words go along with the feeling.‘
‘We‘re fucking Page and Plant. you know? It‘s not like he does all the music and I come and blether shite over the top of it.‘
‘Nah. but what that Vox review meant was that I‘m the fucking hired monkey doing the background karaoke music.‘
‘Let‘s leave this to later. eh? When we‘re really. really pissed.‘
7.15pm: The Canteen
‘And we agreed/Thoughts of your sister helped us wank/I'm sure you know/That I have fancied her/Since she began high school.’ ‘Driving‘
Malcolm: ‘When I was in first year at school. Graham High used to go up the town at lunchtime and Woodlands High would come down. and we’d meet and have battles outside John Menzies.’
Aidan: ‘It was always Woodlands and Falkirk High together against Camelon. Woodlands would come down. and we‘d all shake hands.‘
Gary: ‘And then Woodlands and Falkirk High and Graham High would get together to beat up St Mungo‘s.’
Malcolm: ‘Aye. the hardest cunts were always at St Mungo‘s. I don‘t know what it was: I think religion fucked them up.’
9pm: Elliott's ‘I pulled the ex last night/And it felt weird to feel her up again/Knickers down, bra
cast/As if the past had not passed.’ ‘My Favourite Muse‘
‘l was in a pub’ — no shit. Aidan — ‘and this girl put on a Smiths song. something about “wanting to go out with me“. I cannae remember what it was. but it was supposed to mean something. “Ask” —- that’s the one. “Ask me, ask me.“ Ask me what? D‘you want a pint? You don’t need to ask me. I’ll fucking tell you — I hate The Smiths.‘
‘l’ve no idea what you’re talking about.’
Aidan’s gone to meet his girlfriend; Dave has done the same. Gary was nodding off earlier: he nips away for a kebab and disappears into the night. Malcolm’s still going strong. We’ve done the drugs stories. And heard about the punch-ups. nicking things. the fines and arrests. Mooning at the town centre surveillance cameras and being done for ‘breach of the peace’ — not because anyone in the street noticed. but because the woman watching the screen was offended. Time to switch off the tape recorder.
10.30pm: Grahamston Railway Station
‘But I couldn '1 get it up/Too much to drink, too much to say/She picked her clothes up off the ﬂoor/And promptly headed for the door: ’ ‘My Favourite Muse‘
The List makes its excuses and leaves. And. bumping along the pavement, realises it should have done so hours ago. Outside, it's dark and lonely and there‘s a strong scent of guilt in the air. This is what it feels like to be well and truly Strapped.
Philophobia is released on Chemikal Underground on Monday 20 April. Arab Strap play the Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh on Tuesday 5 May and King Tut's. Glasgow on Wednesday 6 May.
16—30 Apr 1998 TIIEUSTIO