EAST Kilbride poet and songwriter Declan Welsh wants his music to be a “catalyst for hope and change”.

Known for their strong socialist views and political stage performances, Declan Welsh and the Decadent West played in Palestine in 2016, as well as Billy Bragg’s curated Leftfield Stage in Glastonbury.

Now they are about to release debut album Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold and go on a string of UK tour dates, starting on October 31

“I’m very excited. I’m buzzing”, says Declan. “I think we’re really excited to go to places we haven’t been but, in particular to play, in Glasgow with the album being out

– hopefully people will know the words.”

The group will play their headline date in St Lukes on November 15, a venue that Declan is particularly excited about.

“St Lukes is a family thing; my parents are from the Gorbals, so it feels a bit like

a spiritual homecoming to play there.

“Whenever we play, it’s so fun. Glasgow crowds are notoriously up for it. I think we have a good following.”

Talking to Declan about his music is inevitably talking to Declan about his politics.

He is refreshingly honest about where he stands in terms of making art to change the world around him.

“The album is and isn’t expressly political, but there will always be a part of what we do with politics running through it”, he says.

However, Cheaply Bought, Expensively Sold is also a deeply personal record, he says.

“A lot of the tracks are drawn from just simple personal experiences” he says. “Do What You Want is about

Duncan coming out. It’s a message of solidarity – when someone comes out to you,

you want to reassure them

it’s both something to be celebrated and that you are there for them.”

He voices his thoughts on independence.

“I had no doubts about voting Yes in 2014”, he says. “I was really behind Scotland being

a unique and special place destined to be this inherently progressive state, and I was surrounded by politically positive people, who wanted a more progressive reason for it. That was the best means to get the end and I believed that.

“Now its more complicated – the Yes movement is more fragmented.”