The first time my brothers and I saw the video for Firestarter, we lost our shit and I don’t think we ever found it again. The Prodigy were the first band for us who crossed over from dance into rock enough for us to get behind.
We would sit and watch this cartoon punk of a man gyrate and stick his tongue out on TV, mad piercings all across his face, hair spiked and these wild eyes caked in makeup. I didn’t know what he was but I liked it. The most important thing was that he was from Essex. Famous people weren’t from Essex. They were from Hollywood or Liverpool or Ramsay Street. Here was this band who made a lot of noise and freaked out my mum and although we had no idea what the songs were about, they served us in some way. It felt naughty. It felt like we were getting away with it. As we got into our music and as music videos were such high profile things we became obsessed with theirs, particularly Smack My Bitch Up. No prizes for guessing why.
Then I started going out, “clubbing”, and heard Charly, Out Of Space and Breathe in the context they were intended. I lost my shit anew on dance floors across the county and then I got the chance to see The Prodigy at Bestival. I remember jumping up in the air at the start of their set and my feet not returning to the ground until they had left the stage in a haze of feedback and destruction. The crowd were a blanket and a riot. I was carried and dragged around like I was caught up in the undertow. I had never experienced anything like it.
I guess my point is that I want to say thank you to Keith, and the rest of the band of course, for providing such a ferocious soundtrack to important parts of my upbringing. I was deeply saddened by the news yesterday morning but more than anything I just thought “oh fuck, another one”. How many more people I admire am I going to lose this way? It’s absolutely gutting and more needs to be done to help people who feel that there is no alternative. Please, take the time to check on the people close to you. And if you’re feeling low and you’re able to reach out, then do so, because this alternative is no alternative at all.
Thanks Keith. Peace.