Not content with sending their fans into delirium by announcing a handful of very special live shows this October, Arab Strap (Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton) have also compiled a double album of ‘secret hits and rarities’ to celebrate their 20th anniversary year.

Reflecting on a 10 year career that was as influential as it was controversial, Arab Strap’s self-titled compilation highlights an extraordinary output that staunchly refused to conform to expectation. From the string-led sashay of ‘Shy Retirer’ to the piano-driven noir of ‘Love Detective’; the lo-fi crunch of ‘The Clearing’ to the spartan electronica of ‘Rocket, Take Your Turn’, Arab Strap were a fearless and resolutely original proposition from the minute Aidan regaled us with tales of their ‘First Big Weekend’ back in 1996. Here’s Aidan on the tracklisting for ‘Arab Strap’:

"We chose 20 songs – one for each year since we started – and decided to split them into two lots of 10. The first disc's a kind of best-of, but we just stuck to the more electronic stuff for this – there's so many different sounds going on in Arab Strap albums, so we wanted to make it a more coherent whole. The second disc's filled with rarities from EPs and b-sides and out-takes and stuff, so there's some louder rock stuff on there. I think all of these songs could've been on the albums they were recorded for, but sometimes you're trying to tell a story and they just don't fit. This disc is more live drums and rock-y too, so anyone looking for the noise should hopefully be satisfied."

The album complements a handful of eagerly anticipated live shows – Arab Strap's first in over a decade – in London, Manchester and Glasgow on October 13th - 16th. A second Glasgow show has been added after the first one sold out in under 40 minutes. London’s show in Electric Brixton also sold out within two days of going on sale.