Singles Club : Real Lies

Wed 24 May

For RISING: Singles Club, UK duo Real Lies transform Television Personalities’ seminal, post-punk heartache into a soaring house track that gets the blood pumping.

Kevin Lee Kharas
“I’ve clung to one song on that tape more than any other in the years since we met. Over time it became a sort of blueprint for Real Lies. It’s quietly heartbreaking. It doesn’t have to make much fuss in order to kill you. I think any song that can do that is hugely admirable. That song is ‘Diary of a Young Man’ by Television Personalities.”

With one more moon’s turn to go before RISING opens on 7 June, we were in need of a heady banger to get us amped. So for a brand new Singles Club release, RISING enlisted ravers Real Lies to take us there.

Real Lies have covered seminal post-punk band Television Personalities’ ‘Diary of a Young Man’. Real Lies describe the original track as “the blueprint” for their music. And the parallels with Television Personalities' introspective lyrics about modern life, pop culture and social disconnection are obvious. For this cover, Real Lies transform Television Personalities’ tale of an aimless, dreary afternoon into an uplifting and atmospheric UK garage and house track. Swapping the lo-fi, lamenting guitar riff for soaring synths and a sweaty beat, while effortlessly transposing over the spoken word vocals.

Television Personalities sprung out of London in the late ‘70s. Known for their irreverent, DIY style and on-point observational lyrics about British daily life and politics, their best-known single was ‘Part Time Punk’. While never making it big at the time, their influence has endured with bands like Pavement and MGMT.

The track ‘Diary of a Young Man’ was first released the band in 1981, on their debut release …And Don’t the Kids Just Love It—just in time for the decline of post-punk, and the rise of rave and new wave in the mid-to-late ‘80s. Fitting then, that Real Lies’ reinvented version collapses that decade of the UK music scene’s influences into one song.

On why they chose to cover ‘Diary of a Young Man’ for RISING’s Singles Club series, Kevin Lee Kharas said:

“When I first moved to London, I met someone exciting who became my friend. His name was Joe and he made me a mixtape, as we were considering starting a band together. We never did. He was far more talented than me and the dynamic wouldn’t have been right.

“Here, Patrick and I have taken the lyrics and the melody and trafficked it into our world. I hope Dan Treacy, the leader of Television Personalities, is well, wherever he is. Massive shouts to him and Joe for breaking my heart ten thousand times.”

Real Lies make their way to Australian shores this June to headline Max Watt’s for RISING, and their first Australian tour. They’ve promised: “Our show at RISING is gonna be one for the ages.”

“We’ve been waiting to play in Australia for a very long time. Now, we are finally coming,” said Kevin Lee Kharas. “The live show is a bit like walking around in the rain screaming with joy while buoyant on pingers. It’s an hour-long tribute to romance, youth and friendship. Come and get airborne.”

Find your friends on the Real Lies’ dancefloor (and hold them close) for this one.


*‘Diary of a Young Man (RISING: Singles Club)’ by Real Lies is out now.

Singles Club is RISING’s series of specially commissioned, celestial tunes, released under the light of a full moon. Listen to all the Singles Club releases below.*

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