For the last eight years, Malcolm Middleton has been a corner stone of Scottish indie heroes Arab Strap. Formed in Falkirk in 1995, by Malcolm and Aidan Moffat, their take on music was unique, scabrous and to say the least, frank. Their debut single was hailed by Steve Lamacq as “…the best single of the last decade” and was quickly snapped up by Guinness for their latest TV ad campaign. Arab Strap quickly established themselves as pioneers of cutting edge indie music: playing sell out tours, blazing their way through numerous magazine features, infatuating Helena Christiansen (true!), and recording a further four albums, three of which appeared on Chemikal Underground.
In the summer of 2001, flushed with depression, Malcolm began writing some solo material – despite crippling self-doubt and dejection, he was capable of taking those emotions and using them to create a darkly humorous, poignantly beautiful album. Not since Arab Strap’s debut had Malcolm committed his voice to an album so it was a hugely gratifying experience to have him in the studio, creating 5:14, fluoxytine, seagull, alcohol, John, nicotine. Self-deprecating and insightful, his pitch-black observations were set against a dizzyingly eclectic array of musical backdrops - this album was much, much more than ‘side-project’.Malcolm Middleton is a solo artist of considerable charm, intelligence and wit: his one-man tours have proved enormously popular and he has just concluded a US tour with Arab Strap at the end of 2003. With his debut being released for the first time in the States in October ’03 through Chemikal Underground and a follow up in the making, Malcolm’s appearance at SXSW will be the perfect beginning to a busy year.