Two lads who shook the world

Two lads who shook the world Gordon Joly, CC licence

DOES Liverpool really need another work of art about the KLF? That's the question I'm asking myself, as I stand in front of Lime Street Station, on this impossibly blue-skied day, in the spiritual home of the most famous band in the world.

Of course, you don't need me to tell you the story. There's probably no one alive on Earth who doesn't know the basics. The prelude: two young lads, Bill and Jimmy, lynch-pins of the 1980s Liverpool scene. Hanging around at Eric's, managing bands, becoming the JAMS, making northern hip-hop, stealing stolen samples. Then the story itself. Turning into the KLF: the stadium house, the screaming crowds, the drugs, the robes, the American Tour. The Manual, the Timelords, the hysteria, the hype. Then the breakdown, the Brits, the machine guns, the Turner Prize, and the big pay-off, the show-stopper, the special effects budget: burning one million pounds. The greatest pop story ever told.

You know this. Everyone knows. The music of the KLF isn't something you like or dislike. It's just part of life. Played on the car stereo on family holidays. Whistled by the postman every morning. It's like Christmas, or Sunday lunch, or the moon. It's just there. It just is.

And, though they were only met here, didn’t even record anything here, and left for London once the going got good, this city has claimed Bill and Jimmy as its own. Liverpool offers you KLF taxi tours, and KLF Experiences. It has statues, and gift shops, and shopping centres named in Bill and Jimmy's honour. It has Justified and Ancient Ice Cream vans. There's even Liverpool KLF airport, with its pithy slogan, 'All Bound For Mu Mu Land', and a pencil drawing of Bill Drummond's face as part of the logo. But I'm not here to see any of this. I've been summoned to see something new, one more piece of art about the band.

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