Keith Flint

Yesterday I woke up to what was an absolute shock to my heart, as I’m sure millions and millions of others over the world did too. Personally, at the age of 23 it was the first time a musician who I truly looked up to had taken his own life, for others I’m sure Chris Connell’s tragic suicide was hard to believe, but for me I could not ever really claim to of being a huge fan.

Of course being 23 the year I was born 1996 was the year Fat of the Land was released, the first album where Keith became the front man on The Prodigy’s records unknown to some maybe, he simply just danced for them and Liam Howlett was their lead singer. They shot to the top with ‘Fire Starter’ and ‘Breathe’ which ironically I picked both CD singles for 50p up in a charity shop last month.

Personally, my favourite album will always be ‘Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned’ when exercising (not as regularly as I used to these days) it was for me the album that would get me through the last 2 kilometres on the tread mill the opening track ‘Spitfire’ would just give me an endorphin boost every time.

In 2015 I was still living in Hull and working as a life guard, at the age of 19 and in a band the lyrics to ‘Girls’ would always give me inspiration to want to become the next biggest rock band on the planet – “Imagine how it would be, to be at the top making cash money, going on tour around the world telling stories about all the young girls” looking back now it was stupid but that the it is beauty of lyrics and music. They can instantly take you back to a period in your life where you were happy, sad, bored or just a certain day you felt strange.

The same year they announced a tour with one of the stops being the Bridlington Spa. Without any hesitation me and 5 of my best mates knew we were going, I remember one of our mates going straight to CEX to sell his PS3, to have enough money for when the tickets were released the coming Friday. After the release of 2009’s ‘Invaders Must Die’ including tracks with Dave Grohl on drums , they had come back into mainstream popularity, especially to our generation.

Invaders Must Die from start to finish is just an album that can get a crowd going absolutely nuts, ‘Omen’ being the album’s biggest hit yet tracks such as ‘Warriors Dance’ are masterpieces, the latter’s intro is just pure rave filth, magic and not something getting played in the charts at all at that time, was special.

The Prodigy

One of the happiest days of my life was travelling from Hull to Bridlington Spa with my best mates getting merry to say the least then having fish and chips on the beach and going into the gig. There was a mix of people from men and women in their late 40s/early 50s to lads and lasses like me and my mates there as 19-year-old teenagers. I can assure you that from the second they hit the stage to the second they left, they descended everyone in that room into outer space, weather they were chemically helped or sober. I just remember instantly losing all my mates but it didn’t matter, everyone in that venue were mates.

 I remember before almost every drop Liam Howlett shouting down the mic “MY WARRIORS, ARE YOU FUCKING READY?!” it was just a complete blur of pure happiness and energy, at points I did feel like getting taken to the hospital, it was just a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I’m sure the 100’s of millions of other fans they have played to will take the same memories away from this tragic event.

I will always understand getting to that point in your life where you feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, addicted, fed up, feel like you’ll never be as happy as you once were. People say don’t they “He would have had all the money in the world, I don’t get it” well let me tell you that when the Prodigy first formed Keith Flint had no money, he was sleeping on Liam Howlett’s girlfriend’s sofa and starting a revolution. Personally, I have gone on nights out and partied nearly a month’s wages in a weekend, was I happy, no. Some of the best times of my life where when was around ten years ago with loose change in my pocket getting up to no good on a field with a bottle of white lightning.

We really need to start addressing mental health in the music industry seriously and quickly, this legend did not even make his 50th birthday, some don’t even make their 30th.

It’s something I see personally in the Manchester scene, musicians struggling with their mental health, worrying about money because they are chasing their dreams instead of working to pay bills. I just hope our generation has a drastic change, so we don’t see the musicians we grew up with who make it onto Glastonbury’s main stage, die too young. There’s always an ear to listen and a crisis team ready to come and get you.

Mr Keith Charles Flint, my heart goes out to your family, friends and fans and most importantly of all I hope you’re in a place now that’s very peaceful because I can’t imagine you were for much of your career. You were never in a band that got asked to play an MTV unplugged set…


Important websites should you need them: MIND | Samaritans