Declan Welsh & The Decadent West

The Louisiana, Bristol, GB
Tuesday, 7 November 2023
£10 + BF
16+ (under 18s to be accompanied by a responsible adult)
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DHP Family Presents: Declan Welsh & The Decadent West @ The Louisiana Bristol

Declan Welsh & The Decadent West live at The Louisiana, Bristol. Tuesday, 7th November

DWDW are a band from Glasgow with a focus on intelligent, relatable lyrics, catchy hooks and an electric live show. A prolific writer, Welsh and his band (Duncan McBride, Guitar, Ben Corlett, Bass and Murray Noble, Drums) have already released 4 EPs and 1 Album to critical acclaim, receiving a Scottish Album of The Year Award nomination for their debut Cheaply Bought Expensively Sold, as well as BBC Introducing Track of the Week for its opener No Fun.

Being championed by the likes of Jack Saunders, Billy Bragg and Arielle Free, the past few years has seen them tour relentlessly to promote CBES, with the band already racking up appearances at Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and TRNSMT Festival (UK), Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), Bet Lahem Live (Palestine), Oberkampf Festival (France) and many more. This, combined with sold out headline shows and support shows with the likes of Twin Atlantic, Echo and The Bunnymen, Squeeze and The Proclaimers have seen DWDW garner a reputation as “The Future of Scottish Rock Music” (Courier), with Jack Saunders of Radio 1 commenting that “No one knows howto whip up a mosh pit like DWDW. I know - I’ve been in the centre of one!”

With over 3m streams on debut album anthem ‘Absurd’ alone, and radio play from Radio 1, Radio Scotland, Radio X and more, DWDW remained prolific during lockdown, where they released 3 EPs. In the absence of touring, this has allowed them to retain their connection with fans, while expanding their catalogue of sing along, festival ready anthems. Songs from these EPs and their debut full length have been featured in media extensively, from ‘Times’ use in Tennent’s ‘Dedicated to You’ television campaign, to ‘Do What You Want’s use in Teatum Jones’ opening of London Fashion Week, with DWDW collaborating with creatives in all fields.

Insightful, introspective and intelligent songwriting has defined the post CBES chapter of DWDW’s output, and it is this ability as a songwriter that attracted the attention of Mercury Award winning producer Gianluca Buccaletti (Arlo Parks, Big Piig, Easy Life). With Luca, the band recorded their 2nd album and have described it as “The best thing we’ve ever done”. Speaking of their recent sessions, Luca said - “I’ve been waiting a long time to work with a band like DWDW”.

Following a string of sold out UK shows in late 2022, including their biggest ever headline gig at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow (1900 capacity), the band unveiled ‘Mercy’, the first glimpse of the LA recording sessions, tying off what had been their best year as a band to date.

Now, The Decadent West announce the release of their long awaited second album entitled ‘2’, due for release on September 22nd. Recorded between Los Angeles and Glasgow throughout the previous 12 months, the album offers a distinct shift from the taut alternative rock that saw them gather a fervent fan base across Scotland, the rest of the UK, Europe and the Americas - signaling a band with ambitions far beyond what they have already achieved.

‘2’ encapsulates a band with expanded horizons, harnessing a broad scope of influence from ‘In Rainbows’ era Radiohead, to the New Romantic electronic soaked music of the
1980’s. Written and demoed entirely from Welsh’s bedroom during lockdown, ‘2’ sees the bands sound mature, while retaining the acerbic lyricism and melodic focus present on their earlier work. Lush harmonies, intricate guitar and synth work by guitarist Duncan McBride (1 half of the Glasgow based radio show and clubnight ‘The Queer History Of Dance Music’), the bass grooves of Ben Corlett and percussion of drummer Murray Noble pull “2” in varied and expansive directions - from bedroom hyper pop (‘100-1) to cinematic alt rock (‘Reckon’), casting aside any preconceived notion of what a band from Glasgow can be.

‘2’ evokes the experience of coming to terms with a world in which we are increasingly isolated and uncertain. Welsh’s experimentation and continued obsession with songwriting  ed to over 100 demos, with the final 10 tracks making up the band’s most complete work to date - traversing topics of self-doubt (‘King Of My Head’), isolation and apathy towards global conflict (‘Ok Now’).

Speaking of the album and it’s creative process, Welsh explains:

“I guess the album is a product of its environment, written over a period of time in which the outside world seemed as far away as it ever has done. It’s an introspective album in some parts, and in others it’s an album about watching people from a distance. Musically there’s a lot more space than anything we’ve done before, a lot of that has to do with it being created in a bedroom first off. That’s the synthetic part, but we then recorded most of everything live over it, with real instruments. So there’s this dual personality I think, where the synthetic and the analogue are kinda fighting it out. The result of that is this kinda detached attitude that gives way to huge moments of emotion. Lyrically, this is reflected back, with the album discussing issues concerning rumination, isolation and anxiety before moments of humour, hope and love break through to lift the songs and provide light to the shade.

It’s the best lyrics I’ve ever written, and songs like ‘King Of My Head’, ‘First To Know’ and ‘Come Outside (Compromise)’ are the most vulnerable and introspective I’ve ever been in my art. Complimenting those are more outward looking songs such as ‘100-1 (Saturday Night)’, ‘I Don't Know Why’ and ‘The Comedian’, which are essentially short stories put to music. These stories are varied in subject matter (addiction, masculinity, the apocalypse and failure), but are all tied together by the overarching themes of hope, paranoia and a fundamental need for human connection being denied in some way. “

Coinciding with the announcement of ‘2’, the band shared a glimpse of what’s to come with single ‘King Of My Head’, a Pet Shop Boys-esque ode to overthinking. Crystalline
synths and looping bass lines evoke feelings of angst and spiraling thoughts, as Welsh’s introspective lyrics wrestle with the idea of thinking your way out of your own head - throwing a metaphorical Lynx can on the fire.

Furthering on from the hand brake turn of ‘King of My Head’, the band are set to release new single ‘First to Know’ on June 15th.

“It’s a song that goes from this really wavy, chilled out verse to this dramatic chorus and the music came first. Outside of the bass and drums this song was pretty much finished in one go. So I was trying to reflect that vibe, a situation that makes you feel almost numb, spaced out then intensely emotional. It’s a song about feeling as low as you can and wanting out. About giving up. The “go”-ing in “if I was ever to go you know…” is a permanent exit. It’s a glib chorus, using that kinda understatement to make quite a scary point. Sometimes when we can’t findenough reasons to carry on for our own sakes, it’s the people we love that keep us hanging on. The music is chilled, the lyrics are heavy. I like the juxtaposition.” - Declan Welsh

After coming through the hardships of a global pandemic together, they are ready to make up for lost time. 2023 is theirs.

2023 will see the band tour across the UK and Europe in support of the album release including a monumental appearance on the Main Stage of TRNSMT, Scotland’s biggest festival.

Show starts at 7:30pm.

Line Up

  • Declan Welsh & The Decadent West