Music And Words by Malcolm Middleton & David Shrigley

Music And Words by Malcolm Middleton & David Shrigley

“This is a tale you shouldn’t tell your children before bedtime.”

Malcolm Middleton & David Shirgley announce collaborative album ‘Music and Words’ released 15th December on Melodic.

Stream first track ‘Story Time’ below

Blending the words and wisdom of visual artist David Shrigley with the whip smart musicianship of songwriter and Arab Strap co-founder Malcolm Middleton, the pair’s absurd wit and stark delivery is perfectly captured on ‘Music And Words’ – a special collaboration album that started out wrong but ended up just right.

“I misinterpreted the meaning of David’s words so created a certain style of music to accompany the wrong themes,” admits Middleton of the album’s non-existent narrative. “I took one song ‘Sunday Morning’ to be a scathing attack on the pomp and arrogance of religion, only to be informed that it’s just about willies and was recorded on a Sunday morning. It makes for an interesting record though”.

Featuring the vocals and mimicry talent of comic actor Gavin Mitchell, the transatlantic tones of Californian friend Scott Vermeire, actor Bridget McCann and David Shrigley himself, the album was born in lieu of payment after Shrigley created artwork for Middleton’s ‘A Brighter Beat’ album “I loved all the music Malcolm made,” says Shrigley. “We have similar sensibilities; we’re both into darkness, pathos, despair; existential things. It was just what I wanted, even though I didn’t really know what I wanted.”

‘Story Time’ is the first earful from the album and boasts humour as black as the lines of Shrigley’s drawings. “It’s the song that started it all,” Middleton recalls. “Funny, disturbing, and then a bit more disturbing. It’s a beautiful song, not just a cheap shock,” he says, affirming the album’s subjective nature. Or as David puts it “The meaning is negotiable”. But gathering source material for the pair’s mordant style isn’t something to have happened overnight, informs Shrigley; “Malcolm wrote the first pieces of music in 2007 so the album has taken about seven years to make…that means it must be good, right?”


Malcolm Middleton will host ‘Twice! Two Nights At Tuts’ this December, which is pretty self explanatory – two gigs at Kings Tuts in Glasgow with Saturday 13th December a full band show and Sunday 14th an acoustic one.


Also this winter will see the umpteenth book by David Shrigley. ‘Weak Messages Create Bad Situations’ is a sort of manifesto about graphic art amongst other things. It is a big heavy book and can be used to press flowers or kill insects. It is published by Canongate and is the ideal gift for Christmas for an elderly person living alone.

There will be a limited vinyl run of 1000 12”s, each with individual artwork by David Shrigley.


1. A Toast
2. Houseguest
3. Monkeys
4. Walker
5. Dear Brain
6. Caveman
7. Sunday Morning
8. Story Time
9. Help
10. Touch My Face
11. The Tree
12. A Computer

Previous post
Next post

Music And Words by Malcolm Middleton & David Shrigley