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 competition 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. [1]

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 lost interest in the band, with less airplay of their material.

Festive Fifty Entries

Peel's Era



The first two sessions are available on Scenes Of A Sexual Nature (2010, Chemikal Underground, Boxset).

ARAB STRAP John Peel 9th May 2000

ARAB STRAP John Peel 9th May 2000

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.

  1. General Plea To A Girlfriend
  2. The Clearing
  3. Kate Moss
  4. Gilded
  5. Driving
  6. I Work In A Saloon
  7. Phone Me Tonight
  8. Blood
  9. The First Big Weekend

2. Recorded in Glasgow: 2000-03-14. Broadcast: 14 March 2000

  1. Here We Go
  2. Girls Of Summer

Other Shows Played

Arab Strap The First Big Weekend

Arab Strap The First Big Weekend

Hey Fever

Hey Fever


External Links


  1. Ken Garner, The Peel Sessions, p.143
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