Jan 12, 2017

The KLF will rise again, and they may or may not go "baa"

The KLF have the internet abuzz with rumours of their return, a subject that has been well covered here, here and by Jimmy KLF in this tweet:

The KLF are my favourite pop band. Their so-called stadium house trilogy of What Time Is Love?, 3am Eternal and Last Train To Trancentral set my teenage brain ablaze. Their guerrilla grime. The horned hoods. The mock mythology. Following in the path of Snap!, Adamski and Enigma, it all kind of made sense.

I was too young for Doctorin’ The Tardis several years earlier. I remember seeing a car in the video and deciding it wasn’t as good as KITT from Knight Rider. And by the time they took on America or the time they didn't even offer Tammy Wynette an ice cream, I was less interested. Wasn't 'my' little secret anymore.

However, their greatest success was hardwiring baffling and conflicting codes into my system. Destruction is art, art must be destroyed. Having hit singles is easy: let’s delete all our hit singles. You need pumping beats in your tracks; let's make the albums ambient. We are all bound for mu-mu land, even though that never seemed leave the M25. They were, as the saying goes in this grim north, reet punk.

And oh the questions, the many questions. Why is he in a wheelchair? Is he angle-grinding his guitar? Why is she on a boat? How can time be eternal? Is that a rhino horn? Why is he firing a machine gun on TV?

The barrage of content overload, message upon message, chimed nicely with Zoo TV’s fuzzy postmodernism. Y’know. When U2 were good. The K Foundation, as they became, were much more than a music group. They burned money. They tried to demolish Stonehenge. They made videos, books and art. I still own ten pieces of the $20,000 painting that Bill Drummond sliced up.

This reunion as the Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu could be anything. It might not be music. It might be a second Manual. It might be a cube of lager. It might be a dead sheep. Or an alive one, listening to old KLF hits on headphones, confused.

Still. In whatever form, the KLF will rise again. Here they are on Top Of The Pops in their Ancients guise.

Further Fats: Blowin' in the wings: why protest songs should return to centre stage (2009)

Further Fats: I am having a constructive conversation on Youtube about the KLF (2012)