Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middelton have launched the Arab Strap Archive – including 20 new digital releases and many long-lost recordings from the band’s history.
Citing the “surprise time off” due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the duo have put their time to good use, “trawling through CD-Rs, MiniDiscs and cassettes” with the resultant Bandcamp collection – “something they’d talked about for years” – downloadable on a name your own price basis, or to stream.
Amopng the rarities are the live recordings of ‘Packs of Three’ and ‘Blood’ recorded at a 1997 Glasgow Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s gig and sold on tour in 1998.
There’s also the 6 track ‘Quiet Violence’ EP from 2002, produced for the Tryptych festival in 2002 and including early versions of ‘Who Named the Days?’ and ‘Loch Leven’.
In total there are five rare previously self-released albums available, as well as a new compilation ‘Sanitised Broadcasts’ which contains unheard demos from 1995 onwards, while there’s a variety of live shows with 10 full gigs (with 9 different lineups) now online, including a “lost” live album from 1999.