Name, where are you from?
Declan Welsh, I play with a band called the Decadent West, and I am from the world's foremost roundabout covered suburb, East Kilbride. I stay in Glasgow, though. Both are in Scotland. It's sort of like the North of England but with better patter.
Describe your style in three words?
Leather fingerless gloves.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
The one that stands out is LCD Soundsystem at T in The Park. Famously, it was poorly attended (much to the shame of the festival), but there was this siege mentality. Everyone there knew they were watching a special band. And it was the same day we, and our friends The Lapelles (both from East Kilbride) played the T Break new music stage. So it was this beautiful alignment of stars, culminating in watching All My Friends with all my friends, and one very special friend who is no longer with us was crying his heart out to it. It was a beautiful moment. The kind that gets you through bad days. I'll never forget it as long as I live.
If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
In history? That's a tough one. Nina Simone seems like a laugh. A total genius, unbelievable voice, the kinda person you'd kill to go on a night out with as well. She'd be on there. And... let's go The Clash as well. In the rock against racism days, that movement is something I think we need now. Worrying times, and I think we'd fit in not bad on a bill with the clash. Track wise, it's an obvious one for The Clash, but Rock The Casbah live would be absolutely class. And for Nina Simone, her giving it big licks to Sinnerman for about 20 minutes would be a different level.
Which subcultures have influenced you?
Well, I respect a lot of movements in recent history. Quite obviously we're hugely influenced by punk and post-punk sonically. As well as Britpop. Of those movements, there was an anti-establishment current, and bands and people I love like Billy Bragg, The Clash, Pulp, The Fall and that. But I think things like disco and house were amazing for the values they promoted and the music they produced. Being led by people of colour and the LGBT+ community, and dear god the songs. Love a dance, so how could you not be into disco and house? The folk scene in Greenwich Village in the 60s was cool, I love Phil Ochs, he's a huge hero of mine. The problem though is that these movements which are started as protests become part of the system. I mean that's where the whole term sub-culture comes from, isn't it? Instead of being outside of the hegemonic culture, it becomes just another version of it, and curbs revolutionary movements. The irony is not lost on me as I type that answer to this specific interview.
If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
It's not even gonna be a musician I don't think. It's gonna be someone like... Angela Davis, or Dolores Ibbaruri, Che Guevara, Victor Jara actually as a musician, or Phil Ochs. People who stood up for what they believed in. Partly cos I admire what they stood for, but also because you just wanna have that same fight in you. Them or Paddy McCourt. He's a Celtic player. One of those amazing talented but flawed kinda cult figures. I'd kill to have a drink with him.
Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
We played the second stage at electric fields festival last year which was a fantastic gig. Glasgow has loads of great venues, small and big. From Broadcast, Priory, Stereo, Tuts, and obviously The Barras. That's the dream of every Glasgow band. To play The Barras.
Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Unsung is maybe the wrong word, but I don't know if enough people are aware of just how special Kate Tempest is. She's brit nominated and it's great to see some recognition, but honestly, she's a genius on so many levels. I aspire to be the kind of artist who can create that good an album, that great a standard of poetry, stay true to their principles and be sound as.
Declan Welsh is a songwriter and poet from Glasgow. With his band, The Decadent West. Taken from their upcoming debut EP, new single ‘Shiny Toys’ sees the band at their most anthemic, drawing broad influence from the likes of Blur, Pavement and The Smashing Pumpkins. Chorus laden guitars and driving rhythm, serve as a perfect backdrop to Welsh’s vocals as he snarls through a story of friendship, rivalry and class division.