They're back - with a book - and a worldwide scoop
IT'S a quarter of a century since The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu were last seen driving their ice cream van to the strains of Tammy Wynette, all bound for Mu Mu Land and global chart domination as the KLF.
But just after midnight strikes on the morn of August 23, the duo of Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond will come chiming down Bold Street, Liverpool, all aboard what has become, in more ways than one, the ultimate chill out vehicle.
The occasion? A world first, both for them and for an independent city bookshop.
Often referred to as The JAMs, but also known by a clutch of other pseudonyms including The KLF and the K Foundation, the pair will be heading for News From Nowhere in order to sell special stamped copies of their new novel, 2023.
The radical bookshop will be the first high street retailer in the world to sell the book, whose publication also heralds the start of a three-day Justified Ancients of Mu Mu event in Liverpool called Welcome to the Dark Ages.
The ice cream van, or “Ice Kream Van” to use the official terminology, is due at the shop “at 00:00:23 on Wednesday the 23rd of August”.
“The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu will then sell and stamp copies of 2023 to all those that are there and are in need of a copy of the book,” they say.
2023 has been described as “a Utopian costume drama set in the near future written in the recent past”.
Both it and the Welcome to the Dark Ages event, which runs from 23-25 August, continue to be the subject of speculation across social media with the lack of firm public details proving no barrier to discussion.
Established media hacks have fared no better. Those hoping for an advance sneak peek of the novel were rewarded with review copies featuring several hundred blank pages. Like everyone else, they will have to wait until 23 August to get their hands on the real deal (above).
Yet in spite of this, all 400 tickets sold out within half an hour when they went on sale in late July.
The 2023 Ice Kream Van experience is not the first time News From Nowhere has been connected with these particular artists. For one month in 2012, the shop was the only place in the world in which to buy Drummond’s book 100, whose strictly limited run of 1,000 copies sold out long ago.
Hardback copies of 2023, published by Faber & Faber (£17.99) can be pre-ordered by calling News From Nowhere on 0151 708 7270 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you could just turn up, stop them and buy one.