The KLF’s Bill Drummond heading to Brighton

Posted On 16 Aug 2019 at 4:22 pm

Bill Drummond (pic by Tracey Moberley)

I never saw this one coming in a million years!

I was and still am a massive fan of The KLF. My mate and I still go on about the antics of Messrs Drummond and Cauty to this day. In fact we even met Cauty on wasteland on the outskirts of Hastings a few years back, where he had placed an art installation in large shipping containers and filled it with a wonderful little world akin to that found in theStadium House Trilogy video or a tiny ‘Blade Runner’ set.

Never met Drummond though…yet!

I might be lucky enough to catch him selling copies of his play ‘White Saviour Complex’ from the bus shelter outside the Duke Of York’s Picturehouse at Preston Circus in Brighton on Monday 30th September after the screening of the said play. No, I haven’t been drinking!!!!! Don’t believe me? Well then read on…………

It’s fair to say that Drummond has certainly always thought outside the box. This man is not conventional and that’s why we love him for it. Remember the appearance at the 1992 BRIT Awards. Television freedom indeed! Or the appearance under the guise of K2 at the Barbican Art Centre on 17th September 1997? Both legendary! So what’s this all about?

Bill Drummond (pics by Tracey Moberley)

‘Best Before Death’ is a documentary portrait of Bill Drummond’s 12 year world art tour and it’s by Paul Duane. There will be UK screenings of this film. Here’s a snippet of what it’s like – click HERE.

For these screenings Bill Drummond and Tam Dean Burn will appear in person and will be performing the play in two parts – the play being ‘White Saviour Complex’. One part of the play will precede the screening and the other part will follow the screening.

Here’s what the press release says………..

“If I knew what I was doing, there’d be no point in doing it.” (Bill Drummond)

Two years in Bill Drummond’s 12-Year World Tour:Filmed by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Robbie Ryan in Kolkata, India, and in Lexington, North Carolina, Drummond does his self-imposed ‘work’ – building beds, baking cakes, making soup, shining shoes – to the variously amused, perplexed or annoyed reactions of those around him.

The film will be bookended by a new play, written by Drummond, performed by Drummond and Tam Dean Burn. Inspired by people’s reactions to the film, it is entitled ‘White Saviour Complex’.

There will be no Q&A but Drummond will sell copies of his play ‘White Saviour Complex’ from the nearest bus shelter outside the cinema after the screening.

Screening Tour Dates:
Monday 23rd September London, Picturehouse CEntral
Tuesday 24th September Oxford, Phoenix
Wednesday 25th September Fact Liverpool
Thursday 26th September Hyde Park Picturehouse, Leeds
Friday 27th September Dublin, Irish Film Institute
Saturday 28th September Belfast, QFT
Monday 30th September Brighton, Duke Of Yorks
Tuesday 1st October Hackney Picturehouse
Wednesday 2nd October Cambridge, Arts Picturehouse
Thursday 3rd October Norwich, Cinema City
Friday 4th October York, City Screen

(Top) Bill Drummond (pic by Juan Pablo Daza); (Bottom left & right) Bill Drummond (by Tracey Moberley); (Bottom centre) Robert Gordon & Paul Duane (photo by TBC)

23 years ago, Bill Drummond ceased activities as part of the enormously successful pop group The KLF.

Since 2014 he’s been on a World Tour, travelling around the world with his show – ‘The 25 Paintings’ – visiting a different city each year. In December 2016 he based himself in Kolkata, while in the Spring of 2018 he was in Lexington, North Carolina.

In each place he carries out his regular work, setting up a shoeshine stand in the street, building a bed in order to give it away, walk across the longest bridge he can find at dawn banging his parade drum, start knitting circles with whoever wants to join him, baking cakes and offering them to people whose houses sit on a circle he’s drawn on a map of the city.

He’s not rich and he’s deliberately designed his actions so they can’t be monetised. He’s mostly been ignored by the art world. So what is he doing it all for? Director Paul Duane shadowed Bill Drummond for three years before starting this film in order to achieve some level of understanding about what he’s at.

‘Best Before Death’ is named after Drummond’s belief that the World Tour, scheduled to end when he’s 72, is a race against his own mortality.

It’s a film about life, death, art, money, music and cake. And some knitting.

WILLIAM EARNEST DRUMMOND was born in the Transkei, South Africa on 29 April 1953, his father a Presbyterian missionary. His first language was Xhosa, learned from the schoolgirls looking after him. In 1955 the family settled in Newton Stewart, Galloway in rural southwest Scotland where his father was a minister at the local Church of Scotland.

His music career began in the 70s with punk band Big In Japan, whose members went on to be a Who’s Who of the Liverpool scene. He managed two of the more successful bands from that era, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes.

During the late 80’s with Jimmy Cauty he formed half of The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, also known as The KLF. They became the biggest selling singles act of 1991 with hits such as ‘What Time Is Love?’, ‘3am Eternal’ and Justified And Ancient. They left the music business after an incendiary live show at the 1992 Brit awards, and formed the K Foundation, dedicated to provocative art activities, before burning a million pounds of their own money on the Isle of Jura in 1994, after which Cauty and Drummond agreed a 23-year moratorium on working together.

More recent art activities, carried out under Drummond’s chosen banner of the Penkiln Burn, include making and distributing cakes, soup, flowers, beds and shoe-shines. Drummond has announced a twelve-year World Tour, during which he will carry out these activities in locations such as Papua New Guinea, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Drummond is the author of several books about art and music. He would rather be known as an ex-milkman than a former pop star.

Director Paul Duane has been making films, drama and documentary, for twenty years.
His 2013 film Natan, screened at some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals – Edinburgh, Telluride, Lumiére & Pordenone. It was nominated for an IFTA in 2014.

In January 2014, he was the only director with two films on Variety’s annual 10 Directors to Watch list.

Duane produced the 2015 IFTA-award-winning documentary ‘In A House That Ceased To Be’, plus his Grierson & IFTA nominated documentary ‘Barbaric Genius’ (“enthralling”, the Guardian).

His documentary on rockabilly bankrobber Jerry McGill – ‘Very Extremely Dangerous’, was described as “a riveting ride to the wrong side of the tracks” by the Sunday Times.

‘While You Live, Shine’, premiered to acclaim in 2018 and won the Spirit of Indie Cork award at the Indie Cork festival. His most recent film What Time Is Death? follows the return of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, otherwise known as The KLF, after their self imposed 23 year silence.

He co-created & co-produced the IFTA-winning RTE drama series Amber.

The Brighton date information can be located HERE.

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