Today we were feeling rather sombre at Digsy’s Corner once we learned the news that The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint had sadly passed away. Just last week we were looking at British rave culture and anyone who knows anything about it will know that The Prodigy were and remain iconic to the genre. Even those who aren’t avid ravers would’ve heard ‘Firestarter’.
All groups will have a frontman but not all have one with such a colourful and memorable persona and Keith was one of such rarer individuals. Now at Digsy’s, we like to focus on the music and whilst we could focus on why Keith tragically passed at such a young age of 49, we are writing this to pay homage to the music and the mark he made on British music history rather than comment on his personal life, of which we know nothing about.
The Prodigy were formed in 1990 by Liam Howlett and like any genre-defining group, they were provocative and controversial. Keith Flint first joined as a dancer before becoming the frontman and rapidly rising as an icon of the 90s. The Prodigy and particularly Keith Flint, propelled dance music into the mainstream and had many career defining moments such as gaining a headline slot at Glastonbury in 1997 as the first dance group to ever perform (something we only just discovered about the group).  Not only did they make history in their own right but The Prodigy also participated in some of the largest moments in 90s music history such as supporting Oasis at Knebworth in 1996 (a phenomenon that saw 4% of the population apply for tickets). It is fascinating to think that such a hugely influential group came about by chance when Liam Howlett and Keith Flint happened to be at the same Acid House rave in the late 1980s.
One of The Prodigy’s most well-known tracks ‘Firestarter’ was penned by Flint and was the first song he wrote for the group. Whilst Flint was known for his punk image, the song was not actually about fire or anarchy in a literal sense. In his own words, when asked, the song was about the frenzy he could whip up in a crowd when performing. The sentiment implies that he felt connected to his fans and part of something larger when on stage which when we ask anyone who saw The Prodigy during the 90s or even just listened, agree with.
Today was a sad blow to British music; Keith Flint represented an entire genre, was an icon from modest background (having worked as a Roofer before swapping to the stage) and used his experiences which helped to define The Prodigy. Flint struggled with drugs as many artists did and continue to, he had admitted depression and even though never left the band, did not participate vocals on tracks when at his lowest. The Prodigy, including Flint, were able to continue making popular music even after challenges which would’ve seen most other groups fall apart. It is this that adds to the tragedy of Flint’s passing as we predict with confidence, The Prodigy’s upcoming tour would have re-ignited the fire Flint had started in the 90s.
With much love and respect,
Emily Eavis on Keith Flint passing, Twitter post [04/03/2019], https://twitter.com/emilyeavis/status/1102569665883197442
 Keith Flint interviewed by the BBC , BBC Broadcast