For 23 years, since they disappeared from sight after burning one million pounds in a remote boathouse on the Isle Of Jura, the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu have turned down every request for them to participate in a documentary.
In 2017 Bill Drummond & Jimmy Cauty, formerly The KLF returned after 23 years of silence – but they were no longer a pop group. They were now undertakers, planning to build a monument, the People’s Pyramid, out of bricks made from the remains of dead people.
The process was dubbed MuMufication (referencing the KLF creation The Justified Ancients of MuMu).
They’ve set a deadline of 2023 to find a permanent venue for the 23-foot-high pyramid, which will contain 34,952 bricks and could take over 200 years to complete. They agreed to participate in this film about their new project, then changed their minds on Day 2 of shooting.
The filmmakers continued filming. This is what they saw.
The diverse cast of characters includes Paul Conroy, a famous war photographer, Gimpo, the band’s roadie, who filmed the notorious Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid; Paul Sullivan, a conceptual architect, and Claire and Rupert Callendar, undertakers, from the firm, Green Funeral Company.
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 £1M of their own money & signed a contract agreeing to a 23-year silence.
23 years later, in Liverpool, this silence ended at 23 seconds past midnight on the 23 August 2016. 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 brought 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 5 month year old sister.
The film includes Jarvis Cocker’s collaboration with The KLF on a cover of their hit Justified And Ancient, which has to date not been officially released anywhere.
“When I attended the JAMs event, Welcome To The Dark Ages, in Liverpool in 2016, 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 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 judgment. Eventually, they came around to agreeing with me that the film should be released after all. So here it is.”
To date, 3000 people have signed up for Mumufication, the youngest of which was five months old at the time. That leaves only 31,592 to go. For more information and to sign up for Mumufication, please visit mumufication.com Rent or Buy the movie here