In remembrance of Keith Flint who passed away on March 4th.
I made this mix in 2009 for a collective I was in; Generic People. Myself and Ant were playing the support spot to Leeroy Thornhill; a founding member of The Prodigy, at the after party for a gig they were playing, down at The Marquee in Cork, in June of the same year. Leeroy is the one credited with teaching Keith how to perform and paired with Maxim’s magnetic Mc’ng and Liam Howlett’s bonkers blend of boom bap breakbeats, razorsharp rave riffs, rootical reggae riddims and rowdy raucous rock. All tied together with their punk posse posturing.
The mix I made was described by the Webmaster on the official Prodigy website as “The best Prodigy mix I’ve ever heard” so you know that’s a seal of approval, of sorts. So I thought it was worth sharing again, at this time. I’ve tacked on a new suite of some of their finest work, in light of Keef (as he was affectionately known) shuffling off this mortal coil
For most people of my generation The Prodigy were a big deal. Part of the appeal of the group for me is that they were a bunch of friends clearly having a good time and it mirrored my experience as a teenager. The Prodigy were part of the soundtrack of those days. I vividly remember practicing “The Prodigy Dance” with a bunch of lads from my neighbourhood, that I used to pal around with. We would watch the ‘Everybody in the Place’ video over and over trying to get Leeroy’s moves down. One of the lads eventually nailed it after a bit of perseverance (It’s pretty tricky and mesmerising to watch if the mood strikes you to look it up). I’ve been with them all the way on their journey from cartoon ravers to electronic punks. I grew up with The Prodigy and The Prodigy grew up too.
The first time I got to see them perform live was in Cork’s City Hall in December of ‘94 and whilst they weren’t the fully fledged firebrand that they would go on to become, one thing for certain was that their live shows were full throttle and elevated them to another dimension. Sizzling with heat & energy. Turbocharged with the vitality Flint brought to the stage, the trouble starter, the punkin' instigator, one of the ultimate hype men.
I saw them 4 more times after; at the legendary Féile 95, supporting Oasis on 2 occasions- all in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and at Live at the Marquee in 2009 where I got the opportunity to support Thornhill at the after party. They always rolled out a rip roaring romp and honed their skills over the years to become one of the greatest live acts on the scene. From cutting their teeth on the rave circuit and upping their game each time a new tour came round. Carrying on that British tradition of multicultural groups flying in the face of convention and smashing up the silos of sound along the way.
They did more than any other act to unite people from disparate backgrounds. Evidenced in them being the first major dance act to break the U.S.,reaching number one into the bargain. Propelled by Flint’s spitfire persona, the ringmaster of the Prodigy circus. Their first 3 albums were game changers for the dance music community and continue to be regarded as high-water marks for the culture.
Fitting that a man by the name of Flint would light a fire under a whole generation of magic people, voodoo people.
To the god of hell fire, the voice of a jilted generation.
“The flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.”
The fire has flickered out but his incendiary energy lives on.
If everybody’s in the place, then we’ll start the dance.
R.I.P. up the soundsystem! Rave In Peace Keef.