6th November 2023
Known for their punk-political activism, Declan Welsh and the Decedent West made a stop at Phase One Liverpool in the 9th November, as part of their ongoing UK tour.
The group brought their rebellious yet excitable sound to the adoring crowd, opening with a favourite ‘No Fun’, from the groups new album ‘Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold’. The rowdiness of the band and the crowd were equally matched, and a promising start to a much-awaited night of beloved Glaswegian punk-rock. Following their opener, ‘So it goes’ and ‘Lull’, it was in these songs that Welsh proved the extent of his stage charisma. Only stopping for brief explanations between each track, with Welsh’s heavy Glaswegian accent being met with adoring responses from the crowd, the artist busted out what seemed like mini dance routines while belting out his vocals.
Both his charm, and the almost erratic guitar riffs present in the band’s sound, were enough to get the crowd in even more of a frenzy, with the audience consistent in mimicking the singers moves, as they chanted every lyric by heart. The backing of the band kept the atmosphere at a high, playing as a tight-knit, in-sync group despite the complex riffs, and interactions with Welsh himself, taking an already electric performance to new heights.
However, despite the frenzied performance, the band was sure to stay true to their passions. As the set continued, Welsh managed to find the perfect balance of party and political. Tracks like ‘Do What You Want’ came after an emotional talk from Welsh about the current political climate, who urged the crowd to vote ‘for the many’, and dedicated the song to “…the people who know who they are, and say who they are because of it.” Welsh also touched on global politics, speaking candidly about his experience travelling to Palestine. “The fight of anti-Semitism is the same fight of those in Palestine,” Welsh emotionally declared to the audience, before delving into ‘No Pasaran’, a song cemented in fighting for change.
However, the shift throughout the night only added to the audience’s enthusiasm, with the crowd dancing along with a new-found political passion, on top of their appreciation for the band. It was a true testament to Welsh both as a performer and a spokesperson on such political issues, proving he really does live up to his reputation as an activist artist.
The night ended on a high, with the band coming full circle by mashing up the opener ‘No Fun’ with Juice by Lizzo and ‘Reptilia’ by The Strokes. It was a stellar ending to an unmissable performance, showing off the bands musical skills, as well as, their ability to have fun while performing. Overall, unforgettable showed that the band are musically, artistically and individually brilliant, proving themselves to be true stars on the rise. Whatever Declan Welsh and the Decadent West do next, you better be excited about it.