A new film about the KLF, Welcome To The Dark Ages, has been released – find out how to stream it below.
The electronic duo, who returned to action in August 2017 following a notorious 23-year period of silence, are the subject of Paul Duane’s new film.
The KLF’s Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty no longer consider themselves “a pop group”, a press release about the film explains, but rather “new age undertakers building ‘The People’s Pyramid’, a monument built out of 34,952 bricks forged from the ashes of the dead and have made November 23 in Liverpool ‘The Toxteth Day of the Dead’.”
A synopsis for Welcome To The Dark Ages reads: “Welcome To The Dark Ages begins in the 23rd century, in a post-apocalyptic wasteland which was once the northern English City of Liverpool. In the district once known as Toxteth, a mysterious pyramid stands among demolished buildings.
“Returning to the late 20th century, we revisit the origins of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The JAMs – otherwise known as the KLF – who became the top-selling singles act in the world and then left the music business, burned £1 million of their own money and signed a contract agreeing to a 23-year silence.”
The synopsis continues: “23 years later, in Liverpool, this silence ended at 23 seconds past midnight on 23 August, 2017. On this day the KLF were no longer pop stars but had become undertakers, and were planning to build a 23-foot-high pyramid in Toxteth, Liverpool, made from bricks which would each contain 23 grams of a dead person’s ashes, proposed as a new British ritual for the commemoration of the dead.
“The film follows the first year of this project, up to the first Toxteth Day of the Dead. We meet and interview the people who have bought their brick in the ‘People’s Pyramid’, from hardcore fans to an eight-year-old girl who convinces her dad to buy a brick for her and her five-month-old sister.”
You can rent or buy Welcome To The Dark Ages here.
Jimmy Caulty and Bill Drummond of The KLF (Picture: Roberta Parkin/Redferns/Getty Images)
In a statement about the film, director Duane said: “When I attended the JAMs event, Welcome To The Dark Ages, in Liverpool in 2017, I became convinced a film needed to be made about their new incarnation as builders of the ‘People’s Pyramid’. The band hadn’t agreed to be filmed since the early 90s. But I persevered, and they eventually agreed. We started filming.
“On day two [of filming] they told me they were no longer interested in taking part in the film. I just kept filming, and they allowed me to film anything I wanted as long as I didn’t ask them anything or try to make them do anything. When I showed the finished film to the JAMs, they asked me to destroy it.
“I disagreed with their judgement. Eventually, they came around to agreeing with me that the film should be released after all. So here it is.”
Earlier this month, music by the KLF was uploaded to major streaming services for the first time.