mp3 : The Television Personalities – Paradise Estate
It was as far back as 1979 when The Television Personalities released their debut single and by 1986 they were veterans of the indie music scene with eight singles and four albums to their name. By that time every original member of the band with the exception of singer/songwriter Dan Treacy had come and gone with the band (as such) really just being a vehicle for Treacy’s fairly unique outpourings which offered observations on culture and society over music that was influenced by new wave, psychedelia and pure pop among others.
It would actually take a book to explain the history of this lot in any meaningful detail so I’m not going to even try. Instead, I will offer this fan site as being as good a place as any to spend time reading and learning.
Paradise Estate, the song featured on CD86 was, the b-side of A Sense of Belonging, a single released on Rough Trade back in early 1983. Lyrically, noth tracks were far from cheery numbers housed in a sleeve that had a photograph of the face of a young child who had been beaten and battered.
The reverse of the sleeve indicated that the songs were from an LP called The Painted Word….
…..but such was the unease at the label over the way the single had been marketed that the band was dropped. It would take another eighteen months before the album came out on Illuminated Records….which folded soon after.
That whole period sort of summed up Dan Treacy’s relationship with the music industry. He was determined to do things his way and compromise wasn’t a word ever associated with him, By 1985 he was so frustrated that he set up Dreamworld Records to take as much control of the whole process as possible for his own band but also to sign up those bands and singers he felt were worthy. In the end, running the label proved to be so time-consuming that there was next to no new material from him over the next three years and it was only after Dreamworld Records folded that The Television Personalities became active again. The 90s proved to be very productive in terms of output up until 1996 when things just suddenly and unexpectedly ground to a halt. It seemed as if the addiction issues had finally caught up with Dan Treacy….
In truth, the next ten years were a very dark time. He was jailed a number of times for shoplifting to feed his drug habit and in-between jail time he lived rough or in hostels. It was during his fourth and final prison stretch that he got a wake-up call after reading internet rumours that he was dead and he resolved to try to pick his life back up again which he did by getting involved in music again, initially through DJing and then performing and recording after receiving an offer from Lawrence Bell, the MD of Domino Records. It helped that the new hot band of the day – Arctic Monkeys – were dropping Dan’s name in interviews as an influence.
The comeback began in earnest in 2006 and new material appeared at regular intervals up to September 2011.
The following month Dan Treacy needed emergency treatment to deal with a blood clot to his brain; he was saved by the neurosurgeons but he was left with long-term damage. There has never been any official announcement but I think it is fair to say we are very unlikely to hear any new material again.
His is a story waiting on a film adaptation……………………
Here’s the A- side of the single. It is utterly brilliant.
mp3 : The Television Personalities – A Sense Of Belonging
I’d be grateful if any fan of the band was willing to take some time and put together an imaginary compilation for the on-going series…….