Courtesy of my younger brother’s merciful replenishment of my iPod I have belatedly discovered the Scottish band Arab Strap. They’d previously only been known to me via occasional John Peel mentions and when at a film-making masterclass recently the director Richard Jobson said he’d made a music video for them. (Lucky sod, I say).
I don’t know anything about the band but I’m loving the tracks from The Last Romance album. Come Round and Love Me had the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end, which is beyond rare for a cynic like me. The plain instrumentation and mundane eroticism of the lyric intertwine – like a lot of good music - to remind me of a past I don’t know I was nostalgic for: lie-ins in student flats, hangovers and aimless lust.
I am a Scot who has been an expat for 15 years, and perhaps most startling for me is the (re?) discovery of the eroticism of the Scottish male voice in Arab Strap. It’s well over a decade since I had anything erotic to do with a Scotsman, and I’m pretty sure that over that decade I wasn’t conscious of the accent’s specific allure. But something weirdly bubbles up in my subconscious when I listen to this album: I’m sure a psychoanalyst would have a field day on where this is coming from – dad, brothers, my first boyfriend, teacher/s – all vying for space in my ever more crowded psyche.
I’ll eagerly await the invitation to make Arab Strap’ next video and get some of this out....