For Fans Of: The Blinders, Gerry Cinnamon, Billy Bragg
Scottish indie punks Declan Welsh & The Decadent West are quickly becoming known as one of Scotland’s most promising emerging talents, and there’s good reason for it. Fronted by poet and songwriter Walsh, alongside Duncan McBride (guitar), Ben Corlett (bass) and Murray Noble (drums), the quartet weave original and authentic political and social commentary throughout their raucous tracks, resulting in vital listening.
They released their debut EP All My Dreams Are Dull last summer, which covered vast topics from toxic masculinity, rent increases, the rise of right-wing fascists and battling intolerance. ‘No Parasan’ in particular captured their strong political stance, translating from Spanish as “they shall not pass”. The four-piece had previously performed it at Bethlehem Live in Palestine with an orchestra of refugee children, showing their solidarity with its citizens. Recalling the experience, Welsh said “It had an immense impact. It’s a beautiful place, full of beautiful, inspiring, kind and strong people who are undergoing a day to day existence that is unfathomably hard. But they exist, and so they resist. And f**k me do they exist! They are just amazing folk, doing amazing things. I met friends for life, and I had my life changed fundamentally.”
They followed All My Dreams Are Dull’s revolutionising theme with debut full-length Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold, released in 18th October 2019. While inherently cut from the same cloth, it does also see progression in Welsh’s writing. For example, in ‘Different Strokes’ (a driving track about the poignant lessons learnt from the brief stint in Palestine), he states that his approach to storytelling has become less direct and simply tells of his experience. He says “I’m not telling you “think this or that” I’m just explaining a true story […] take from that what you will.”
Wall of Sound called the 12-song collection “a thrashing album that delivers some storming tracks that beg to be played loud.”, while The Skinny agreed it was a “strong debut which more than hints at the emergence of a promising talent who’s set to grow”, and rated it 4/5.
To add to the hype, lead single ‘How Does Your Love’ came with a rather unique video. As the song itself is a shout-out to the power of a good night out, it’s paired with a 17-minute mock-umentary based around a new fictional nightclub. Titled L.U.V: South Lanarkshire’s Premier Club and Event Space, it also features comedy legend Paul McCole (Limmy’s Show, High Times) as the owner.
Despite still being fairly fresh-faced newcomers, Declan Welsh & The Decadent West have some mighty shows under their belts already. Not only have they played in the Middle East, but this year they’ve also performed at Billy Bragg’s curated Leftfield Stage at Glastonbury and done set at BBC Radio 1 Maida Vale. With notable punk energy and a crucial message, their shows are not to be missed.
Declan Welsh & The Decadent West / introducing