Blast from the past- Library of Mu

Library of Mu record:
Title: Blast from the past
Date: 20 September, 1997
Journal: Guardian
Author: Phil Daoust
Type of resource: Reviews
Status: text
No. views: 4050
Description: good short review

Blast from the past

By Phil Daoust (20 September, 1997, Guardian)

Phil Daoust was blown away by the KLF's 23 minute comeback at the Barbican Hall

"Fuck the millennium. We want it now!" Several dozen dockers are chanting their hearts out onstage, yells amplified to the point at which audiences begin to vibrate. The Williams Fairey Brass Band are parping away as if their lives depended on it. Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond, the former KLF duo, are careering around in motorised wheelchairs, dressed in pyjamas and wigs. Each has a giant horn strapped to his forehead. Blaring over it all is the KLF's acid-house anthem What Time Is Love.

Welcome back, Bill and Jimmy.

The KLF quit the music business five years ago, after winning a Brit award for best British group and machine-gunning the audience at the Hammersmith Odeon with blank bullets. They refused to say what they'd planned for their comeback gig. What we got was a glorious, jaw-dropping mess.

We were shaken by a tape of Fame, horrible and loud, intercut with foul rock guitar and white noise, screeches. Then came 20 minutes of What Time Is Love, accompanied by the Williams Fairey Brass Band. This, they say, is acid brass. A choir, meanwhile, gave a beautiful, barely audible rendition of the sailors' hymn For Those At Sea and Che Sera Sera. And singer Sally Bradshaw sent up divadom by flouncing on like a grande dame and doing some jaw exercises or perhaps giving us a brief aria (you couldn't hear a word of it).

All very funny and unsettling. No one could fail to be moved at the footage of mounted police charging demonstrators: it's two years since 480 Liverpool dockers were locked out. What was behind the chants? Humour: "We want the year 2000, and we want it now"?. Idealism: "We want utopia, and we want it now"? Or anger: "We want it - everything, anything - now"?

What the fuck's going on?" the ads for 2K's concert had asked. Even at the end of this awesome show, I couldn't have told you.


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