Es ist in diesem Jahr 25 Jahre her, dass Arab Strap ihr erstes Album Philophobia veröffentlichten, und ihren sehr spezielle Stil begründeten. Genau genommen erschien das Debut der melancholischen Schotten am 20.04. 1998 auf Chemical Underground. Aus diesem Anlass gehen Aidan Moffat und Malcom Middleton noch einmal als Duo auf Tour, um genau diese Platte zu spielen. Sie selbst sagen dazu folgendes auf ihre ganz eigene Arab Strap Art: With a new album about halfway ready for release next year, we thought we could easily ignore our second album’s 25th birthday. But we find it hard to say no to Philophobia. If our first album was a ramshackle oddity filled with in-jokes and formerly private tape moments that we never expected to bother many ears, it was Philophobia where everything started to come together, when we began to realise making music might have a future for us, and the Arab Strap sounds and themes began to take shape. If you’ve seen us play in the past few years, you’ll know we still include quite a few of its songs in our set lists. These tunes seem to have endured, and it’s probably the only album we’d ever consider performing all the way through.
But, with our new forward-facing philosophy and 8th album on the way, we didn’t want to make too big a deal of it. We hummed, we hawed. Venues for a bells-and-whistles full-band Philophobia tour were on hold for a while, but those plans were abandoned because it just didn’t feel right and, as Aidan said on our last album, we don’t really give a fuck about the past. But, as we say, it’s hard to say no to Philophobia, and we couldn’t just let its 25th birthday shuffle by unmarked … so we’ve decided to celebrate it after all, but quietly. The Philophobia Undressed tour will feature the album in full, but performed by just the two of us – Malcolm & Aidan with a guitar or two, some drum machines and probably a digital Mellotron – as we sing our old songs about being young, in intimate surroundings and, in some cases, visiting towns we haven’t played in a long, long time.