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REPORT: The JAMs In Liverpool, Day Two
Patrick Clarke , August 24th, 2017 23:38

After yesterday's focus on the past, day two of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu's Merseyside takeover concerned the present, and featured public stunts, songs, vandalism and the impromptu burning of a wicker man

After last night's 'answer' to the question 'Why Did The K Foundation Burn A Million Quid?' ran late into the night, the 400 volunteers were assembled once more at Liverpool's Bombed Out Church the following morning, and told only to await further instructions.

The attendees were formed into two lines, the 'odds' and the 'evens', after which Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, aka The KLF, aka The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, walked down the lines, tearing out pages of their new novel 2023 and handing one to each volunteer. Which side of the page they owned was determined by whether they were 'odd' or 'even'.

Subsequently, they were informed that yesterday had been about the past, tomorrow would be about the future, while today was about the present. Each page-holder was asked to inform the organisers of their name and corresponding number. It was promised that all future editions of the novel will have the name of each page-holder printed at the top of their page.

Afterwards, the crowd was asked to divide into groups according to which chapter their page belonged to, and given 6 hours to plan and conduct an act of their choosing, according to their interpretation of the contents of said chapter.

Some groups chose to conduct flash mobs and performance art experiments on the streets of Liverpool. One group, whose chapter contained the words 'Big Mac And Fries' repeatedly, entered a McDonalds and conducted a loud chant of those words until removed by security.

Another group, whose chapter, set in the year 2023, saw Yoko Ono become the face of Starbucks Coffee, ordered 20 coffees to the name Yoko Ono, and presented the empty cups as an offering.

A third decided to walk 1.7 kilometres, which took then exactly 23 minutes, and collect every object they found along the way, before constructing a sculpture from them.

Most notoriously, one group constructed a wicker man, and an effigy of Simon Cowell to be placed inside. After an impromptu procession through Liverpool's Chinatown and negotiations with a group of local skateboarders, the wickerman was burnt in a skatepark.

Meanwhile, back at the Bombed Out Church, Drummond and Cauty were busy re-customising their ice cream van and assembling a coffin that is to form part of tomorrow's planned procession.

At one point, controversy arose as the two poured paint all over a replica of the band's car 'Ford Timelord' that had been brought by a fan, much to said fan's chagrin.

At 6pm, homemade soup, made by volunteers, was served to the 400, and each group was invited to deliver a short presentation about their chapter.

Performances varied from a bizarre space opera to drumming performances, to simple recounts of a group's exploits. One group decided to set fire to a pile of Cliff Richard records they'd purchased from the local Oxfam, while another, calling themselves 'templars' presented a strange performance of screaming and puns around the word 'fox' (go fox yourself, etc.)

By far the most well-received of the performances was that of a group whose chapter contained the tale of a fictional Christmas number 1 by the band Badger Kull (formed last night). Throughout the day they had been distributing lyrics to a song they'd written, to the tune of Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', to each of the 400 attendees, leading them in a rendition which culminated in the chorus 'Fuuk the world, let them know the Dark Ages will end'.

Other lyrics included 'There's a world outside your boathouse and it's a world of jellied eels' and 'And there won't be perch in Merseyside this Christmas time'.

Drummond and Cauty were then summoned to the stage in order to call out one page number in particular, the owner of which would be invited to take part in a special, secret trip in their ice cream van. At first the number 99 was chosen, and although the attendee whose car had earlier been covered in paint tried to pretend he was the owner, it soon became clear that this was a lie, and the true owner could not be located.

Number 24 was chosen as a backup, and its holder was taken away with the pair. His whereabouts are currently unknown. The rest of the 400 were gathered outside the church for a group photo, much to the bafflement of passers-by as they conducted Badger Kull chants: "Badger, Badger, Badger! Kull, Kull Kull!" and so on.

Read the rest of our coverage of The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu in Liverpool:

Day One
Day Three