A MYSTERIOUS modern phenomenon is ghosting, when associates or potential suitors cut off contact and vanish.

Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert may be breaking up, but at least they are being gents about it.

It was a whirlwind affair of live shows and appearances, a widely acclaimed full studio album, a Christmas album and a live LP.

But in August, 15 months after their first date at Glasgow's Saint Lukes in 2018, the pair announced their “conscious uncoupling” to distraught fans.

Moffat, the droll, more carnally-obsessed half of Arab Strap, and Hubbert made a winning pair, the latter's flamenco-tinged guitar giving buoyancy to the former's lugubrious wit.

Each record was informed by Moffat's story of former lovers who briefly connect again and the hauntings that often accompany middle age: of possible lives not lived, the ghosts of losses in the past and those to come.

Though other artists featured, notably cellist/vocalist Siobhan Wilson, pianist Rachel Grimes and violinist/vocalist Jenny Reeve, it was the bond between the two men which was central, building on a relationship going back to the mid-1990s west coast indie underground.

Both reported having a ball recording Ghost Stories For Christmas, with Hubbert – born Robert, known as Hubby – having so much fun he taught himself piano at Moffat's request, learning from YouTube videos in much the same way he developed his sublime guitar playing.

“We had some brilliant fun and played some brilliant gigs and I'm very proud of our records,” says Moffat. “But this was never meant to be a long-term thing. We only really planned for a year and we knew we were moving on to other things.

“There's no hard feelings at all, it's perfectly friendly, but we used up a lot of creative energy with the Christmas and the tour. Then we did the live album which obviously doesn't require the same level of attention but I think we just felt we had come to the end.

“I'm very much of the always-leave-them-wanting-more attitude."

Another thing for Moffat is a new instrumental album, set for an early 2020 release on Melodic, the Manchester label responsible for releases under his L. Pierre alias.

“It's not L.Pierre,” he says. “L.Pierre is dead. It's actually a bit jazzy, especially in the drumming, which leads the way. It's my mid-life crisis jazz album. It comes to us all.”

Apart from the Aberdeen date which sees them support The Twilight Sad as part of True North, the pair will be supported on these goodbye gigs by hot indie hitmakers Cloth.

And for now at least, there is more: a parting gift of three Aidan and Hubby numbers yet to be played live.

Released last month with a downloadable b side, farewell single Cut To Black was intended as a post-script to Here Lies The Body. A mix of singing, spoken word and Hubby's spare, almost tender guitar, it's the second part of a screenplay Moffat started in the inner sleeve to the vinyl version of Here Lies The Body.

There's also Devils Of Dusk, a track written and recorded during the Here Lies The Body sessions.

“The reason we never released it is because it's based around this Satanic ritual,” says Moffat. “The first version was quite scary, far too scary for the record. But we've taken all the Satanism right out of it and will be playing it live at these shows.”

He adds, now softly serious: “We wanted to one last single, play some last few shows and end it there. To say goodbye properly rather than just disappear.”

Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert, Gardyne Theatre, Dundee, Sep 19; Summerhall, Edinburgh, Sep 20; Music Hall, Aberdeen, Sep 21; Saint Luke's, Glasgow, Sep 22