Wednesday, 10 May 2017

klf: chaos, magic and the band who burned a million pounds [john higgs]

John Higg’s quirky book on the KLF’s burning of a million quid on the island of Jura felt a little heavy on pontification and a little light on detail. It is, as the author observes, a fascinating moment in the history of the music business, as well as being a pungent semiotic event. The book seeks to contextualise this by giving potted accounts of various connected movements, from Dada to Discordianism. The writer is good on the social history of the time and the state of British culture in the early 90’s, all of which sometimes made it feel as though the narrative might have worked better as a novel. In the end, you don’t feel as though you have too much of a handle on Cauty and Drummond’s actions: rather you feel you have a very strong handle on the author’s interpretation of their actions. 

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