Declan Welsh and the Decadent West performing on BBC Rapal stage at XpoNorth 2017, at The Phoenix, Inverness.Declan Welsh and the Decadent West are a pop-punk band from sunny East Kilbride that weave elements of The Clash and more recently the Arctic Monkeys with their own style of topical punk/lad rock and I now count myself as a new fan after their rousing performance at XPO North on Wednesday night. Abrupt, passionate and more gripping than a Trump handshake, Declan and the gang packed up their unique brand of political and social commentary and headed to Inverness on the eve of yet another opportunity to finally get our civic house in order. Welsh’s song-writing reeks of relevance and itches of integrity as he conveys ideas about the malaise of modern life and the social issues of the day. Welsh dabbles in spoken word on his days away from the band and his ability to bend words to his will to communicate complex thoughts and feelings in a punchy, palatable way is obvious for all to see. Surprisingly, he manages to preach his agenda without coming across as a massive, unlikeable twat – an ability which should be commended and certainly made for a transfixing set. The singer swaggers around the stage with a bravado that will disgust and enthral you in equal measure, but one feels this wee fella means every single syllable he hurls in the direction of his eager listeners. Their signature track ‘No Pasaran’ was prefixed by a stirring monologue from the cocky frontman about the rise of the Right and our obligation to fight intolerance and hatred wherever we see it. You see, at that time, wee Marty was 4 pints deep into his night so I was absolutely, positively ready to start a revolution on the road to the post-gig chippy after Declan had finished his call to arms. The song itself is a catchy punk track with a chorus that will leave you screaming ‘No Pasaran’ at those bastard seagulls at 3am on the way home – dripping in chips and convinced you have made a difference to the fabric of society.
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