What Time Is Love?

23rd of August 2017 according to this poster which also states that ‘The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu are currently at work in their light industrial unit.’

K2 Plant Hire twitter here.

Bill Drummond on punk

 

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Pulling Out Of Ricardo And The Dusk Is Falling Fast

I don’t know about you but I could do with a lie down in a darkened room for a little while.

The KLF’s Chill Out, forty four minutes and twenty seconds long, recorded in one go by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, and released in February 1990, is a mythical drive through the night up the Gulf Coast from Texas into Louisiana. Bill Drummond said at the time he’d never been to those places, it was all in his head. If you want more about the background, samples, recording, track titles and whatnot there’s more here. But maybe it’s best just to press play and let go.

It seems wrong to let today go by without a tip of the trilby to Leonard Cohen.

‘Now I bid you farewell
I don’t know when I’ll be back
They’re moving us tomorrow
To the tower down the track
But you’ll be hearing from me baby
Long after I’m gone
I’ll be speaking to you softly
From a window in the tower of song’

Where The Hell Have You Been?

‘We’ve been waiting with our best suits on, hair slicked back and all that jazz’.

Echo And The Bunnymen benefitted massively from Bill Drummond’s management, his leftfield plans and sense of theatre. In between the first and second albums (Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here) they released a four track live e.p., Shine So Hard, a document of a gig at the Pavillion in Buxton deep in the Pennines, in January 1981. The palm house, the army surplus clothing, the bright white lights, Pete’s shaven head and the other three’s fringes and quiff- it’s never all about the music with a band, the visuals are such an important part and the Bunnymen and Drummond knew this. Echo And The Bunnymen, especially early on, had a really democratic sound, the drums, bass, guitar and vocals all seem to carry equal weight and have the same space, no one instrument dominating. All That Jazz is an early highlight, a stomping bassline, shards of guitar, military drums and Mac’s urgent singing.

What Time Is Love?

It’s a long road from Liverpool’s punk scene and Big In Japan (a band described memorably recently on BBC4 as ‘less than the sum of their parts’) to global success with The KLF’s stadium house but it is the road Bill Drummond travelled between 1976 and 1991. He’s done much of interest since too but today’s post is about The KLF and their massive What Time Is Love?, remixed here by Austria’s Jurgen Koppers. Mu Mu.

What Time Is Love? (Power Mix)

Echoes And Bunnymen

I was skipping through Bill Drummond’s excellent book 45 the other night, due to turning 45. He was Echo And The Bunnymen’s manager all the way through their best years and writes very eloquently and passioantely about them. Then I went and found this- the Bunnymen live at Rockpalast in 1981 with an hour and half set spanning the first three albums, showing what a formidable back catalogue they were building up. But the most striking thing is how different their set up looks with them playing in a line across the front of the stage, not with the drum riser behind the singer- changes the whole look of a band playing live. Almost revolutionary. Actually, on second thoughts, the most striking thing is Ian doing sexy in his ripped t-shirt.

Revolutionary

There’s something about this song, The Revolutionary Spirit by The Wild Swans, that could somehow only have been made in Liverpool in 1982, something essentially early 80s scouse about it. The Wild Swans were the baby of Paul Simpson (pictured above with flat cap, neckerchief and Telecaster). Paul’s led three different line ups of The Wild Swans over the years but there’s something really special about the first line up. Isn’t it often that way? The Revolutionary Spirit was paid for, produced (in mono) and drummed on by Bunnyman Pete de Freitas and is a yearning, heart felt, uplifting, post-punk masterpiece. It was also the last record released by legendary Liverpudlian independent label Zoo.

The lyrics are a mini-epic in themselves, starting with these opening lines… ‘Lost in the delta of Venus, lost in a welter of shame’… and a chorus that takes it further still… ‘All is quiet where angels fear, Oh my blood relations the revolutionary spirit is here’. William Blake eat your heart out.

Label owner Bill Drummond reckoned it was the best thing Zoo put out and he might be right. Bill Drummond often is.

The Revolutionary Spirit

Snubbed Again

The KLF- I don’t remember this interview so I must have missed this episode. I used to have a lot of them taped on VHS but they went the way of all tape and are probably landfill now. Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, neither the easiest man to live with I reckon, made some fantastic records, provided a gateway to dance music for NME readers, had a good play around with notions of what it was to be a pop star and a musician, machine gunned the Brit awards, drove around the M25 for 25 hours and burnt a substantial sum of money. Bill Drummond continues to write thought provoking and interesting books. Jimmy Cauty has a vitriolic and slightly unsettling blog. All good fun.