Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Television Personalities - And Don't The Kids Just Love It (1981)

One of the my favourite albums ever released is the one above, The Television Personalities seminal debut album 'And Don't The Kid's Just Love It' released in 1981. The Television Personalities is the brain child of one of the punk generations most important voices; Dan Treacy.  

Dan Treacy started the Television Personalities in 1978 and they self-released and produced a couple of classic punk singles until their debut long-player was released in 1981. In terms of Indie Music, Dan Treacy and The Television Personalities could be now pretty much seen to have founded the genre we all now know as 'Indie' or 'Britpop, however back then it was just considered punk rock and it probably didn't even really get noticed by a lot of people other than those in the know or those who listened to John Peel.

Fusing elements of 60s psychedelia, Jangle Pop, Mod and Punk attitude not to mention the DIY belief and determination many of the youngsters in bands had back in the late 70s, the Television Personalities have gone down in history as being a cult band and In my mind are also one of the more interesting groups to have been around during the late 70s till now in the present day.

The band are still together and playing shows today, the line-up is changeable however Dan Treacy is still writing songs and being the legend that he is.

I had the good fortune of meeting Dan Treacy last year at a Spacemen 3 related event in London, It was kinda cool to say hello and have met a guy who's song I am influenced by and whose music I have been listening to since I was a teenager.

Some folks have said that my own music reminds them of Dan Treacy a little, I personally can't hear the similarities, but I am influenced by his style of songwriting and I do love how personal and honest some of his songs are to him and I guess that is an influence to me as I try and be honest and true too, I guess I also relate to him in that in both our songs there is themes of sadness, being an outcast and also kind of hating the world around us.

                                     Television Personalities circa 1980 (from Left to Right -  Joe Foster, Empire & Dan Treacy)

The line-up as mentioned for the TVP's was interchangeable with only Treacy being the permanent feature, the members who recorded 'And Don't The Kids Just Love it' were Dan Treacy alongside Ed Ball and Mark Sheppard. The album is a cult classic and set the template for the emerging Indie music scene that was happening in the UK during the 80s.

The album is really important to me and I do consider it to be in my top 10 albums ever list, purely because every time I listen to it, it reminds me of my youth. I purchased 'And Don't the Kids....' and 'The Painted Word' LP's when I was around 15 or 16 years old and they both really played an important soundtrack to my life growing up in West London Suburbia, In fact I'd say both these albums are the best albums to express the anger, the boredom and isolation a person suffers in such a place like suburbia. I related to these albums and they made sense to me, that's why I love them I guess?

Later on we moved to Sussex and at the age of 19 I got a job working for The Electricity Board and around the age of 22 I was working on my own in a van all day for almost a year, I liked working on my own because it meant I could listen to my own music. During one very hot summer, I remember taking 'And Don't The Kids Just Love It' out in the van with me, I must have played that album everyday purely because I was working in South London, I was working in area's like Merton, Norwood, Croydon,Mitcham, Thornton Heath, Tooting etc I think I got as far north as Battersea during that Summer. The album was a perfect accompaniment to working in that area, the post-war council estates, the lonely parks, the concrete jungle, the sad forelorn faces from the past to the present, many different creeds and colours... The music and lyrics of Dan Treacy made all this make a great deal of sense to me, the music is totally London through and through.

                                                                              (Above) Dan Treacy

The album is a psychedelic-pop punk masterpiece and a real delight and I feel anyone who seriously loves music, should seriously love this album.... I can't sing it's praises high enough.

Please find below a few of my favourite songs from the album, however I do feel that the whole album is good.

This Angry Silence -  I totally love this song, it reminds me of my youth getting the N207 night bus from Shepherd's Bush back home to Uxbridge after spending the day and night roaming around London, the bus usually was full of gangs, drunks and heroin addicts. Not to mention the suburbia which I called home, had the same fate as included in the song's lyrics... I had alot of 'Angry Silence' inside of me and I guess I still do..... I like the lyric "I spend the days on my own, writing silly poetry, writing poems for the girl I love, but she doesn't love me".... total teenage genius!

The Glittering Prizes -  The Lyrics of this song, I used to tell myself the same things back when I was a kid.... I still am telling myself the same things... I guess if you have a brain and come from a shit and rough area you do ask yourself these things?

Diary of a Young Man -  I think this song is my favourite on the album, purely because I have had many moments in my own life which unintentionally mirrored the song.... I think I am currently going through a phase similar to the song.

Geoffrey Ingram -  I guess I love this because it is whimsical English humour in music form, it reminds me of when I was a kid and me and a mate always used to hang around London, we'd go and hang around Hammersmith Broadway a great deal and I guess, I must of in my head felt I was Geoffrey Ingram.

La Grande Illusion -  I totally love this song, it's a fabulous psychedelic moment from the 80s, I think it's a great song, simple as that a great piece of psychedelic pop.

Enjoy Folks


1 comment:

  1. If you haven't already discovered Bobby Jameson's blog I urge you to read his entries about his Rock'n'Roll past as a recording artist and addict in 60s Hollywood. His writing is first rate and I'm sure you'll enjoy his blog.

    I wrote about one of his great songs on my site last year. 'Vietnam' got in my Top 50 Los Angeles recordings.
    I thought about Bobby Jameson when I read your TV Personalities post and in particular Joe Foster who seems to rile Bobby Jameson at every turn.

    Here's a link: