GIG REVIEW | DECLAN WELSH AND THE DECADENT WEST | BARROWLANDS BALLROOM

Declan Welsh and The Decadent West play their biggest headliner to date.

On Friday 18th of November we made our way over to one of Glasgow’s most iconic venues to catch East-Kilbride’s best fourpiece play their biggest headline show yet.

We’ve been following the quartet’s journey for years now and seeing their progress from Tuts to TRNSMT to The Barrowlands has been very special.

The evening kicked off with support from funk art collective, Fauves.

The emerging five-piece have a truly unique sound and style. The crowd was packed out from the offset and needless to say they put on an excellent show.

Vibrant and captivating tracks such as fan favourite ‘Topaz’ and latest single ‘Sweet Nothing’ charmed the audience. This was my first time seeing Fauves live and I wouldn’t hesitate to get tickets for their shows in the future.

Next up were Glasgow favourites Spyres. The quartet are big names on the city’s live scene, hot off the tracks of their recent UK tour, they did not disappoint.

Tracks like ‘Otherside’, ‘See Through You’ and ‘Lost Without You’ offer an effortless blend of punk-rock and pop sensibilities. With an incredibly commanding stage presence, the group had the 19,000 capacity venue in the palm of their hands for the duration of the set.

The evening was off to a strong start following such excellent support acts, but now it was time for the headliners to take the stage.

Welsh and his band, The Decadent West, are easily among the city’s finest live performers. Their sound expertly blends an array of influences, best described as guitar-heavy pop with punk influenced lyrics tackling topics which are always personal, socially conscious and politically astute.

Their set kicked off with brand new single ‘Mercy’; the first release from the groups upcoming record which is set for release next year. The track features layers and layers of sound, rich vocal harmonies and swaggering riffs set to reflective lyrics about kicking old patterns of behaviour.

Energetic performances of upbeat tracks like ‘Ghosted’, ‘How Does Your Love’ and ‘Parisian Friends’ had the audience jumping about and singing along to every single lyric in high spirits.

Slower tracks like ‘Useless’ and ‘Be Mine’ showcased Welsh’s ability as a skilled songwriter with a lot of depth and allowed us to catch our breath between mosh pits. Poetic lyricism is an element of their tracks that always stands out, especially during live performances.

‘No Pasaran’ and ‘Different Strokes’ are both tracks which are incredibly effective in conveying political messages in very different ways; the former is a noisy guitar track that’s lyrics explicitly warn the crowd this band will not tolerate intolerance, and the latter tells an autobiographical story about the group visiting Palestine to witness the occupation where they were tear gassed.

Fans of the latest EP were delighted to finally hear ‘Impermanency’ and ‘Aw The Time’ live, and with an additional three band members performing that night there were loads more backing vocals, keys and layers of guitars marking a noticeable step up in performance which was thoroughly enjoyable.

As well as showcasing two brand new unreleased tracks, ‘King of My Head’ and ‘First To Know’, the band closed the set in true DWDW fashion with classic fan favourites ‘Times’, ‘Lull’ and ‘Absurd’. Those are three of the group’s strongest singles to which fans have attached incredible levels of meaning. There were tears, hugs and smiles as the audience screamed back every single lyric; there is really nothing more special than the shared experience of live music.

Thanks to Fauves, Spyres and Declan Welsh and The Decadent West for one of the best gigs of the year.

About Emma Edwards 83 Articles
22 year old journalism student