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From behind, a crowd at an outdoor gig raise their arms towards the stage. Some of the crowd sit on top of others' shoulders.
A close up of Declan who has a shaved head and a serious expression.

Declan Welsh

Why I love Glasgow's music scene: Declan Welsh

June 29, 2023

Glasgow indie specialists Declan Welsh & The Decadent West will perform at TRNSMT this summer. The foursome's new single First to Know is just out and causing a stir for their much-anticipated second album (due out in October). Ahead of their TRNSMT show, frontman Declan Welsh answers our questions on why Glasgow is a top city for music lovers.

The 4 band members stand with serious faces looking at the camera. They wear oversized suit jackets.

Credit: Graham Noble

1. What makes going to a gig in Glasgow so special?

Well, for us it’s where we’ve all chosen to live. It’s the city nearest all of our hometowns and has become our home. So it just kicks off in a way that is unparalleled. It’s starting to spread to places like Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Cardiff - but Glasgow will always be a place where we know that from the start of the gig to the end, the crowd will be going for it. It’s a gig city. Bands from out of here love it an' all, so there is something special going on. Think it’s really lively in a way nowhere else I’ve seen is.

2. Tell us about a music moment that sums up your experience of the city?

Our headline slot at the Barras (Barrowland Ballroom) and our King Tuts stage slot at TRNSMT. I can’t explain it but you can feel it before you go on. You can feel an atmosphere. Electricity or something. You barely have to move a muscle and the crowd just goes wild from the start. It’s goosebumps stuff thinking about it. It’s the reason you do this.

The 4 band members are laughing in a pub together with pints on the table in front of them. The style of the bar and band members is Scottish 1970s.

Credit: Graham Noble

3. Why do so many talented musicians come out of Glasgow?

I don’t know if there’s one answer to that. I’m sure it’s a bunch of stuff. But I tend to think that beauty that comes from places that are rough around the edges has this special quality. And Glasgow is beautiful with rough edges. Sweet and sour. Hug ye while calling ye a word that I assume you won’t print. All that comes out in Glasgow artists.

The famous neon sign of music venue Barrowland is lit up red. Neon stars surround the name of the venue.

Credit: VisitScotland, Luigi Di Pasquale

4. What's your favourite Glasgow venue?

Barrowlands. It’s not even close. Does anyone ever give another answer to this question?

5. When travelling the world, how do you describe Glasgow and the city's music scene?

It’s wild. Enthusiastic in an almost aggressive way. It’ll scare you the first time then you’ll end up never wanting to play anywhere else again.

6. What would you recommend to first-time visitors to the city?

Go see a gig at the Barras, then go dance in Sub Club and walk up to a busy street and sit eating a chippy watching Glaswegians be Glaswegians. Glasgow is the kinda place that you have to live in to understand properly though. It’s cliché but it really is the people. The folk who choose to live here tend to have this friendly but acerbic way of talking to you. A good natured slagging. It’s great. Liverpool have got that an' all to be fair to them. Another wonderful place. Glasgow's twin in loads of ways.

Declan Welsh & the Decadent West will perform at TRNSMT on Friday, July 7 on the same day as Pulp, George Ezra, Flo and many more. Day and weekend tickets are available to buy at
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