The Return of The KLF: Pretentious or Conscientious?

The return of the avant-garde pop icons The KLF is a massive story over the last few months since posters began popping up in London earlier in 2017. Now with confirmation of the reunion of the Ancients of Mu Mu with their three-day event, we must beg the question of if their return is worthwhile and preserving or simply pretentious garbage.

23 years ago, The KLF disappeared along with their catalogue. The duo created a spark in their electronic singles days of the early 90s, with their spot as the highest selling singles act of 1991. The duo of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty sparked interest and outrage with their artful antics during their tenure as The KLF, including a famous goodbye at the 1992 BRIT Awards, in which they played with the metal legends Extreme Noise Terror and Barney Greenaway of Napalm Death, and their infamous burning of a million pounds.

Now that they’re back, what’s in store?

It’s an odd one really, nobody will actually know what the idiosyncratic duo will have in-store other than what they’ve informed us of in their “press releases” through the pink-paged Bido Lito!.

£100 for three days of Mu Mu events, including a hearing on why they burnt the one million pounds, a reading and a “MuMufication” with every ticket holder being a volunteer, with no press or red carpet as they put it.

It’s also not that odd that they picked Liverpool, with their connection (mainly Drummond’s) being quite tight with the city. Drummond‘s inclusion in the pre-supergroup Big in Japan during the days of Eric’s and his later work with The Bunnymen, The Teardrops etc. also closes the connection.

Is this really what we or you wanted?

Does it not feel like a pretentious return of two beloved “artists”? It’s all a bit above us isn’t it, and most of all is it actually needed?

Let’s be honest, Drummond and Cauty are very well-crafted, possibly brilliant, wind-up merchants with the power to possibly cause any chaos they like. I doubt they actually burnt a million pounds in the first place, but that’s just what they want me to think, and you.

I’m only begging to ask the question, is the return of Drummond and Cauty as the KLF a worthy reunion of one of the best pop acts of their time, or another one of their hair-brained, ridiculous “artistic” experiments? or is it plainly just, in the most laughable way, a bit of both?

Those who don’t know, you will find out in August. Those who know it is the latter are interested in being apart of the chaos and the former, well, I think you have the best outlook of it all.


Words by Charlie Kendall, poster courtesy of Bido Lito!

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