real lies make music for real lives
As we premiere their nostalgia-filled video for 'One Club Town,' get to know the North London trio.
Tom Watson, Patrick King and Kev Kharas are Real Lies. Their music is for you, for us, for a generation that grew up somewhere shit and managed to make it out with a small bit of dream alive -- the ones who live to work, work to live, and who know how to have a good time. Life sucks but with a solid group of pals around you, it sucks a lot less. Their debut album, Real Life, was released into the world last September by Marathon Artists and has provided a fitting soundtrack to our lives ever since. Opening with the anthemic Blackmarket Blues, the record takes listeners on a series of nights out, comedowns and love shared and lost. Check out their new video and then stick this playlist on for a nostalgic trip like no other as you prepare to meet your new best mates.
Tell us about the first time you met…
Tom met Pat in high school, playing soccer when they were 16. Kev met Pat in Brighton drinking white wine in a stairwell. Tom met Kev sharing cans in the line for a nightclub that we've long since forgotten the name of. We were all wearing very nice jackets.
Who came up with the video treatment?
We had an idea that the director, Jonathan Entwistle, made better. Then Perry -- the security guard for the day -- helped refine it into the cinematic gold you see before you today.
What're the best/worst One Club Town club names you've ever seen?
The best is whatever the first one was you got into as a wide-eyed 15, 16 or 17-year-old, e.g. Club Brasilia. The worst is whatever that club had changed its name to when you stepped off the train and back into town for Christmas Eve after your first year away, e.g. Karooze.
Tell us about the local club from your youth…
KK: Mine was called Heroes. It definitely didn't suit it. No one was ever wearing a very nice jacket.
TW: Mine was called Chicago's. I once DJed there on a Monday night with my friend Matt. A bouncer checked my bag on the way in and asked me why I was bringing 10th grade science textbooks into a nightclub. He still let me come in, drink $2 pints and play The Orb, though.
Which of your lyrics means the most to you and why?
The most recent ones will always mean the most, but "One Club Town"'s are some of our favorites. They sum up a lot of what our first album is about: leaving a small town behind for the city -- going out and finding new friends, new experiences, new solace. That shift from leaving a town with just one club to one that has thousands within the space of a half-hour bus ride can be jarring. It's a lot of fun, but there's always a touch of sadness at the core of it because you're behaving in a way that you learned with friends who inevitably didn't make the move up to the city with you. In a sense, those early relationships and early nights out haunt every other relationship and night out you'll ever have, for better or for worse.
Best night the straight-through crew have ever had?
Any of those after Eternal, the club night we helped put on with our friends in Holloway. The ranks of the S-TC swell each time. RIP Ronalds Road.
Is there any hope for London nightlife?
Lol, obviously. Pretty much every good spot we've been to in the city has closed, but we've had some of the best nights we've ever had here in the past year. Push people to the edges and they'll work harder, it's always been the way.
What qualities make a great house party?
a) a 25:75 ratio of people you know vs people you don't
b) trekking there across town for a couple of hours beforehand
c) hearing about it approximately 30 minutes before that trek begins
d) a whipping boy
e) the potential for falling in love.
What do you want that you don't have?
What's the bravest thing a young person can do in 2016?
Best piece of advice you've been given? Who gave it?
Julian Cope once gave Tom a songwriting tip that he'd learned from hanging round with Joy Division. We've used it in one of our songs, but we're still waiting on Julian to give us the green light before we can divulge the magic.
Who're the kids in your artwork?
The boys from LAW Mag tracked them down. It's quite a long and complex story but needless to say, you run into a few problems when you've got one day before the artwork goes to print, you need permission to sign it off and the only contact number you have is an 8-year-old boy's mobile number...
You made i-D a playlist of songs you'd hear on a night out in a one club town. Talk us through it in a few sentences…
They're all tunes that we heard and learned off by heart in the days before we were legally allowed to go out, from the ages of 9 at extended family wedding receptions to 17 with fake IDs at clubs called things like Flex, Liquid and Utopia. They're all songs that still give us a rush of blood to this day, and inevitably, at a certain hour of night, still follow us around the city as we take over the stereo in the houses of strangers.
What film do you reckon Real Life would best soundtrack?
Do you have Valentine's Day plans?
Yeah, we've booked a table for three at a romantic restaurant on Upper St for a chat about drum samples. Then on from there for a romantic hike up Suicide Bridge and a late drink at the shit club on Archway roundabout.
What would Real Lies play to a V-Day date?
Hed Kandi Classics on repeat.
Which three new artists are you convinced will take over the world?
BAFIC, Lorenzo Insigne and The Rhythm Method.
Text Francesca Dunn
Photography Bradley Barnes