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Remembering Keith Flint

In a 1994 interview with NME, Keith Flint defended his decision to not be like the rest. “What do you want? Entertainment, energy, some slamming sounds, something to look at, a lot going on, a real close vibe to the audience, or three musicians standing still?”

 

It was this energy and enthusiasm that make Keith Flint and his band The Prodigy stand out. A band that could not only resonate with the likes of everyone but also a band that carried their own unique style and charisma.

 

A week ago, we lost a true pioneer of dance music. Flint sadly took his own life but has left behind an incredible legacy.

 

Emerging from the rave scene of the late 1980s-early 1990s as a dancer, Flint became the missing piece of The Prodigy puzzle when it came to releasing their pinnacle 1997 album, The Fat of the Land. The distinctive look of Flint is what first caused the commotion, yet not in the conventional and admirable way. Standing in an underground tunnel with his hair styled into devil horns, Flint’s menacing dance moves in the video for 1996 hit ‘Firestarter’ are captivating in a different sense. Flint came to represent a darker, punk-influenced side of the ever-growing rave scene at the time, and soon became something to marvel.

 

The Prodigy have thus far released seven studio albums. Their 2009 album Invaders Must Die is the only album to compare to the dizzying heights of The Fat of the Land. Featuring singles such as ‘Warriors Dance’ and ‘Omen’, the album encapsulates the trip-hop elements that made them scream above the noise of the late 1990s.

 

Flint’s outgoing stage presence made The Prodigy a true live spectacle. The first dance band to ever headline Glastonbury in 1997, they provided an electrifying set which has since been replicated on stages such as Rock Am Ring Festival in 2009 and Milton Keynes Bowl in 2010.

 

Similarly to Chester Bennington, Flint’s tragic death has highlighted the ever-growing importance of acknowledging male mental health adversities. Suicide has recently been found to be the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK, and the music industry seem to be making the right steps to help reduce this figure substantially. North London venue The Cause are set to throw a rave in memory of the late titan on the 16th of March, with the intention of donating all profits to mental health charities CALM and Mind in Haringey.

 

The work of Keith Flint revolutionised the dance scene. His creativity and eccentricity assembling people from all walks of life together in order to the same beat. Out of the ordinary in the best possible way, we will never forget the original Firestarter.

Words by Hayley Millross

Take a look at Loudwire's breakdown of Keith Flint's top 10 moments: