In the late 80’s early 90’s a new genre of hedonistic, hard-partying, loudly played dance music hit the youth consciousness, perhaps laying claim to be the last real and true youth music movement. Taking influences from the dance rave culture and the theatrics of heavy rock music a scene took off with talented DJ’s mixing sounds that could be danced to along with the head-thumping beats that went hand in hand with an anarchic counter-culture that inspired and enthralled generations to come.
At the forefront of this movement were the band from Essex, The Prodigy, who seemingly were typified by dancer and vocalist Keith Flint who, sadly, took his own life over the weekend. Keith, with his trademarked multi-coloured spiked hair, wild stare and energetic stage performances, set the level for the genre; at times pure Johnny Rottenesque punk mixed with the stage antics of a Jagger or a Mercury and with the sheer love and enjoyment that came with taking devotees to the highest levels of utter abandonment and adoration that the beats carried all around them. Appealing to dance fans, the Madchester crowd and rock fans alike, Keith and The Prodigy, were able to grace raves, festivals, rock gigs and the like with skill, aplomb and brilliance, introducing disparate fans to different styles of music and creating a common ground based on having a great time, all tracked by awesome tunes.
After meeting DJ Liam Howlett in a rave club in Essex, Keith, along with Leeroy Thornhill, joined forces to present Howlett’s tunes with their dancing on bigger and bigger stages. Initially gaining a huge underground following before, in 1996, releasing the album The Fat of the Land, that spawned their huge singles ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Breathe’ both featuring Keith’s vocals and becoming UK number 1’s. The band headlined the Glastonbury festival as well as having success in numerous music awards and garnering critical acclaim. Post this time, with a number of hiatus’s for band members to deal with personal issues, The Prodigy released a number of albums whilst also courting controversy with suggestive songs and videos that left them open to criticism’s of misogyny and of glorifying bad behaviour.
The band members also worked on a variety of solo projects, Keith working with his band Flint, although this wasn’t a commercial success with their first and only album being panned before release by the record company. Outside of music Flint also ran a motorcycle racing team that competed in the British Superbikes and in 2015 had race winning success at the Isle of Man TT races.
At the time of his death Flint, still living in Essex, was married to Japanese DJ Mayumi Kai.