Long she may reign over us

Once upon a time, I went to a couple of parties in a squat in Stockwell known locally as Trancentral. Outside, sometimes used to be parked a battered old American Police car. One that weirdly also featured on the cover of a single doing the rounds, called Doctorin’ the Tardis. Weird in that a car seen often in South London was also on Top of the Pops and on a record cover. Telly didn’t really show South London (except for The Sweeney). Pop music was things like Kylie Minogue, a soap opera star (who’s character, coincidentally is referenced in another KLF song) from far away Australia. Whilst it was good in an ironic way (I’ve since learned that someone I know was the cardboard Dalek in the video too!), it was the later KLF stuff that I was really into. In my first job, I sat in on the cutting session for 3am Eternal. I loved it. I still do. I may have copied it from the master onto a blank tape, and may have played it to a group of friends that night rather loud. All of us, those still alive that is, were converted to the Justified Ancients of Mumu.

Today I visited former KLF member Jimmy Cauty’s ADP1 riot container. It’s a haulage container currently plonked in the middle of the main drag in Hastings. The graffiti on it evolves daily. There’s no real hint, but when you get up close, you start to see little portholes dotted about the exterior at all heights. People are staring into the container through these telescope sight eyeholes. Small kids are finding things to stand on (beer crates, road cones, people) to view into the holes too high to normally see into.

There are actually a few different containers doing the rounds. There was a smaller one at Lambeth Country Fair this year, but I didn’t photograph it. This one is bigger, darker.

Inside, and it takes a moment to adjust your focus and actually get your bearings, is another world. Outside is sunny Hastings, and inside is a dystopian post-riot world of matchbox police cars and ambulances, blue lights a-flashing urgently. Helicopter search lights going. Beyond this, you have to see it for yourself, it is mesmerising. I had that same feeling again that I had hearing 3am Eternal (and later the whole White Room album, and later again, The Orb – all Jimmy Cauty related projects).

That boy works hard. He/they have just been given an Arts Council grant, but still need to raise about £50,000 to keep the tour going. There is info and beautiful jam jar terrariums for sale here:

Check the dates and go see ADP1 (2, or 3) somewhere near you.

The top photo was taken later in the same evening. A police car pulled someone up right near me. I looked up and saw poor ol’ Queen Vic had been given a Smiley. Jimmy Cauty made some (anti) riot shields with a smiley face on them a few years ago.

This photo is therefore dedicated to Jimmy Cauty, who I hope would be amused by this serendipitous ‘full-size’ scenario that looks like something from his ADP. Thanks Jimmy, for the music and the art (and great parties, although I had no idea who you were then).

Finally, nice write up about ADP here:


Jimmy Cauty ADP

Jimmy Cauty’s Smiley Riot Shields


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