SCOTTISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2012
Independent On Sunday
Scotland on Sunday (Album of the Week)
The Skinny (Album of the Month)
In Sound (9/10)
of Best Fit (9/10)
Wells is the Scottish multi-instrumentalist, composer, leader of the Bill Wells Octet and collaborator with The Pastels, Isobel Campbell, Future Pilot AKA and many more. Moffat is a man of many projects, whether his solo material released under his full name Aidan John Moffat, his band Aidan Moffat & the Best-Ofs or, in a former life, his experimental work as L Pierre, Lucky Pierre and his long history as one half of iconic Scots duo Arab Strap.
The pair first met back in Moffat's Arab Strap days in - predictably - a pub, when Aidan and bandmate Malcolm Middleton invited Bill to play piano on their Monday At The Hug & Pint album. 'I wasn't sure what they thought of my music but I had been a fan of Arab Strap from the first time I heard them, and I'd been especially endeared since the day they were called ‘a disgrace to Falkirk' by the Provost at the time,' says Bill.
It's then that the duo first started work on Everything's Getting Older, recording first single, '(If You) Keep Me In Your Heart', in 2003. Having resolved to make an album, it was to be a long time in the making. 'I didn't want to rush it at all,' says Aidan. 'I have a great love and respect for Bill's music, so it was important to me that I try my absolute best, and that takes time.'
The songs they came up with over that considerable period of time began taking on a theme: aging, and within it freedom, fatherhood and responsibility. 'I don't really live [a hedonistic] kind of lifestyle anymore,' says Aidan, formerly acquainted with the kind of wild times described in Arab Strap's debut The First Big Weekend. 'I still go out as much as a dad can, but I'm not really interested in writing about that kind of thing now. My mid-life crisis is due in a decade or so, so maybe I'll get a second wind then.'
Written by bouncing files back and forth, with some ideas fleshed out at the East Kilbride Arts Centre, the album was recorded at Chem 19 in Blantyre and Ca Va in Glasgow. 'The process was practically identical to how I worked with Malcolm in Arab Strap, although there was no fighting,' says Aidan. 'If Bill and I disagreed on something, we had a discussion, whereas as Malcolm and I usually had a shouting match and then went in the huff for an hour.'
The pairing was marked with a special Valentine's Day show at London's Bush Hall, where Aidan also appeared as Aidan John Moffat and Aidan Moffat & The Best Ofs. 'There's a certain degree of irony here - I don't believe in Valentine's Day at all, it really is a lot of pish,' says Aidan, '...but I do believe in love.'
'Birth, love and death: the only reasons to get dressed up.' AIDAN MOFFAT (The Copper Top)