Time for a catch-up.
2020 was a quiet one. For all sorts of reasons. But mainly that one.
Still, amid the chaotic bleakness of it all, I completed a trilogy, created an Anglo-Venezuelan ambient audiobook, guested on a few podcasts, gave an offering to the Penkiln Burn, visited a shipping container, made a virtual contribution to the Toxteth Day Of The Dead and put a CD out.
2021 got off to the brightest of starts which it turns out was pretty vital in illuminating those dark couple of months of the year, but then the jabs arrived, the Sun came out and the lambs returned to the fields.
IN SEARCH OF THE TIMELORDS
The lockdown rituals that got me through to the other side were all about creating and maintaining a good day. Not a perfect one, but one you wouldn’t mind living for the next six months of so.
Morning coffee in the garden with the cats and gentle sounds, a walk by the river in the afternoon and regular Zoom watchalongs in the evenings.
One highlight of these was a rewatch of Children Of The Stones for the first time since it’s broadcast in the quarter to five spot on ITV in early 1977. Watching it through grown-up eyes changed very little. The adults are still awful, the kids are either heroic or weird. But the main difference is that whilst the fictional setting of Milbury was some unvisitable mirage, a folk-horror Brigadoon, Avebury was just a 2hr30min drive down South and when the three worlds of folk-horror, megalithic structures and The Timelords meet, you need to pay strict attention and drive down at the next available opportunity. Or April as it more commonly known.
The KLFRS Kommitee first convened in early 2021, with a simple challenge to the world:
The KLF Re-enactment Society exists…
The KLF Re-enactment Society exists to re-enact events in the history of The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The Timelords, The KLF, The K Foundation, The One World Orchestra, 2K but not K2 Plant Hire Ltd.
The KLF Re-enactment Society is free to use realism, neo-realism and post-realism methods when interpreting events in these histories.
The KLF Re-enactment Society welcomes animals, children, women, men of a certain age and inanimate objects to re-enact.
The KLF Re-enactment Society requires no subscription fees to be a member – just commitment to a truth that can never be proved.
The KLF Re-enactment Society was officially founded on the 1st of January 2021. Rumour has it that it will last until the 31st of December 2043. Others claim it will close after five tight years.
The KLF Re-enactment Society welcomes all documentation of KLF Re-Enactments that have been re-enacted after the 1st of January 2021.
The afternoon before the trip to Avebury it dawned on me that an opportunity was presenting itself:
Re-Enact The Timelords video that was filmed in and around Avebury.
I searched the video for re-enactable moments. Most shots were aerial shots or high speed collisions between Ford Timelord and some non-kopyright-bothering ‘Daleks’, but one short scene jumped out. After driving through the Avebury stone circle, Ford Timelord takes a sharp left turn while a ‘Dalek’ observes next to a post box. I searched the surrounding area on Google Maps with just one clue: a sign pointing to a mythic place called Nolands.
Nolands doesn’t exist on any maps.
Nolands is a farm. Well it was. I think it’s just a £2K/month holiday home now after most of the land was sold to RAF Yatesbury, location for the ‘Dalek’ bashing mentioned earlier. However, Nolands Road does exist and, with the aid of Darren Tyler of the magnificent Ford Timelord blog in, I found my spot. All I needed now was a ‘Dalek’.
Time was running out/in. My ‘Dalek’ re-enactment was suitably shoddy and definitely not kopyright-infringing. It was just your basic big cardboard box, hazard tape, plant pots, plunger, egg whisk and jet wash nozzle combo. And I think it did the trick.
AN HOUR IN THE STATIC
The origins of the next caper began back on January 10th of this year when some cryptic graffiti was added to the outside wall of the Dead Perch Lounge.
Preliminary fact-finding revealed the following breadcrumbs:
‘Kindred Luft Front’ were booked to play – but apparently never did – the Teesside Cyberpunk Convention on 9/11/2018, which became the Blade Runner Night on 22/6/2019
‘Dead Perch Lounge’ owner and Architect of The People’s Pyramid was involved in the above event.
10-03-21 is in the 23rd week of 2021. In fact it will be the 23rd Thursday of 2021.
Who doesn’t love Thursdays.
There would be a solar eclipse on 10-06-21.
The eclipse would last 231 seconds.
This eclipse was notable for the fact that the path of annularity would pass over the North Pole, the only such eclipse in 21st century.
While the eclipse is visible primarily in northern Canada, in Greenland and in north of Russian Far East, in the northeastern United States and Canada, the sun will be partially eclipsed at sunrise, which will be between 5 and 6 A.M.
Then it all went quiet. The KLFRS reissue program continued with Come Down Dawn, SSL2 and The White Room (Director’s Cut). Speculation around a ‘hidden chapter’ continued. Routes were checked. I could leave work and be there in 2hr30. A warm, balmy evening was forecast. Why not, I thought. You never know.
The afternoon before, some more text was added to the wall. A time and an arrow. Something WAS happening.
The Static’s Instagram started to drop more cryptic clues. Some K2 Plant Hire hazard tape. A television showing the words ‘LEXINGTON ETERNAL’. A silhouette of a rhino.
The anagram analysers were set to work on KINDRED LUFT FRONT.
RED TILT FUNK (FNORD)
FIND FONT DT LURKER
KLF DID RETURN FONT
KLF DID NOT RETURN F___
The fact that KINDRED LUFT FRONT had been scheduled for Blade Runner Weekender – but not subsequently appeared – was a big clue. After all Paul Sullivan, The Architect had a sizeable foot in both camps. LUBA LUFT was a character in Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? that loosely became Joanna Cassidy’s character Zhora in Blade Runner. The rhino hinted at the rhino toy revealed as belonging to Deckard in Blade Runner 2049. Kindred harked back to Annebella Pollen’s presentation at The Black-E, on the first day of Welcome To The Dark Ages. LEXINGTON ETERNAL was clearly based on a couple of aspects of Bill’s work…
By this point a cluster of believers had assembled in The Grapes, a magnificent pub just around the corner from Static/Dead Perch Lounge. After a catch-up and a couple of drinks we decided to go for a reccy around the corner. By chance we bumped into The Architect who was shocked/pleasantly surprised to see us, but he was giving nothing away.
10pm was still a while away so I went for a tour of the surrounding area, taking in a few sites that had been locations for some scenes in my TOGETHER story. I’d only ever ‘visited’ these places on Google Maps, so it was odd to see them in the flesh.
We returned to The Grapes to fill the time and we’re slowly joined by a few more curious travellers, lured to the centre of Liverpool on a hot June night by some graffiti from back in January.
Taking our positions outside with about ten minutes to go, we were joined by a dozen more, making our numbers swell to a pleasing 23. Then at precisely 10pm, the shutters were raised to reveal a small pyramid stack of TVs and a DJ up on a gantry. The TVs were showing scenes from Blade Runner. Oh…
Then gradually more stacks of TVs were revealed, all showing unseen, professionally shot footage from WTTDA. The DJ set was a blend of KLF tracks and variations on a theme. There were many highlights in the new footage, but the best was a complete multi-camera performance of JARVIS JOINS THE JAMs. A future XMAS number one…?
Then one hour later, at 2300, the shutters closed and after a few goodbye hugs it’s was time to make the journey home after a huge leap into the unknown kind of night.
BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME
July and August saw the planning, delivery and manning of Jimmy Cauty’s MDZtour, AKA ESTATE, where I was overjoyed to work with the wonderful SHEFFIELD ARTS LAB. Over the four shifts I worked, it was great to meet and hang out with many familiar faces and names from the Community Of Mu.
I’d experienced ESTATE first hand back in its first residency in Stoke, but it was great to get involved in the planning and execution of all the events around it. Greeting the shell-shocked visitors around the back of the container to ply them with merch – and a fair few of my books – was a great way to spend a few summer evenings. I also collaborated on the accompanying booklet as well as allowing one of my literary creations interview the Town Planner himself. It was a really great interview with some excellent and revealing answers.
If you have a space and some volunteers, I wholeheartedly recommend getting in touch with L-13 to get ESTATE to come to you.
At some point over the summer, I was also involved with BLAME BLAKE, a celebration of the work of William Blake and John Higg’s most recent book. My presentation can be devoured here.
JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
Think of the furthest you’ve ever driven in a day. Then double it. This is how far Great Yarmouth feels from the rest of the world. It’s a charming seaside town, isolated from the rest of the country by increasingly smaller A roads. But that didn’t stop BANKSY. And it didn’t stop Bill’s Uncle. And it didn’t stop Bill.
WHO ATE MY UNCLE? was the name given to the exhibition of THE 25 PAINTINGS and a pandemic-induced rerouting of THE WORLD TOUR. Across the month we’re various events and I chose the premiere of WHITE MALE GAZE as the occasion to visit.
Like so many of these events, the catching up with friends is as much an event as the performance we’re there to see. The afternoon’s warm-up involved a visit to a brand new BANKSY and the discovery of a lovely micro-pub just around the corner. A pre-play fish supper was followed by an unexpected sighting of THE ELDERLY GENTLEMAN enjoying his own evening meal at the nearby ‘Spoons.
He’s had a productive few months with four new publications. As well as picking up WHITE MALE GAZE after the performance, an impromptu visit to London had allowed me to visit the Stoke Newington barbers to collect BEST GENT HAIR SALOON and ANTIMACASSAR and the kind folk at originalprojects in Great Yarmouth we’re kind enough to send me out a copy of THE EDGE OF THE WORLD. In addition to all those, Bill has also written a RATION BOOK, 3”x1”, and a new pamphlet, TWO.
Bill’s play was a joy as ever, performed by the ever joyful TAM DEAN BURN. Afterwards, I had a nice little chat with THE TRAVELLING SALESMAN, who went to great lengths to clarify that TOXTETH ON THE MOORS will take place in ‘CHESHIRE not DERBYSHIRE.’
This will be the first 23/11 without a release from me since 2017. I’ve not given up, I’m just working to a new timeline. INEEDTOGOBACK will be available at some point next year.
Late October, saw me out of action for a couple of weeks with you know what, which was pretty grim, to say the least, but spare room isolation did allow me to finish a couple of projects and start AND finish another one, coming to a GROUND ZERO near you from August 2021.
November 22nd will see the final realisation of my LOST DOCTOR script that that I wrote a first draft of in 2018. It’s changed quite a bit since then, so those of you that have a copy of the original, sent to superfans only, will have something new to hear. The LOST DOCTOR is a wonderful by-product of the last few years and I’m really enjoying my writer/editor/producer role. It’s a genuine case of a childhood dream coming true. If you are interested in joining the alt.TARDIS crew get in touch via Twitter, @lostdoctor23.
August also saw the third (and final) reissue of THE 400 REMIX PROJECT, with a specially stickered variant to encourage the kompletists.
Finally, amidst all the chaos of the last few months, I’ve contributed to three podcasts, that are probably worth your time.
TOXTETH ON THE MOORS in one month away. If you see me there, say hello. I’ll be the one in the hi viz. TTFN.