In my opinion, the king of the misfits. I was introduced to The Prodigy when I was still in nappies. My brother has always mentioned to me that I used to dance around like I’d been possessed every time he played one of their records. Their influence on my life has stood the test of time. I have listened to the band practically every day for approximately twenty years. From ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ and ‘The Fat Of The Land’ through to ‘Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned’ and ‘Invaders Must Die’, their music has always been an instrumental part of my life, helping me pave my own path going forward.
I remember seeing the Firestarter video when I was a kid. Keith wearing that oversized United States styled t-shirt. By societies standards, he was this freak. But to me, it helped me understand and conceptualise that being a bit different is more interesting and exciting than being like everyone else. That alternative look is probably why I never gave a shit about what others thought I looked like. Perhaps that is why when I grew my hair out to the point I looked like an unwashed willow tree, it still didn’t bother me.
As you may have now guessed, I was a fucking misfit in school. Alternative as hell, and not particularly liked as a consequence. Likely due to how weird I was… probably. When school became unbearable, music was both my defence and release. The Prodigy were the guys who topped that list. Often music that helped me lash out against the intolerable, it kept me focused on the bigger picture. As of right now, that focus has become slight overcast in shadow. Liam Howlett (Producer/Engineer of the band) has informed fans this afternoon that Keith killed himself. If I was in water, I think I would have sunk sixty feet. Keith, this enigma that I always considered to be larger than life, has now been engulfed by it.
The best gigs I have ever had the pleasure to go to all had The Prodigy headlining the bill. Milton Keynes Bowl 2010, Brixton Academy 2012 and Creamfields 2013. All events that I will never forget. They have become pieces of my history which will inevitably shape my own future. The ‘we don’t give a shit’ attitude they repeatedly evoked towards negativity has been a driving force in my own life. The message helped stimulate movements to surround myself with people that actually matter, alongside changing and removing toxic parts of my life. Both of these actions helped to trigger movement onto the correct path for increasing my own self-worth and general happiness. You must think that I’m overexaggerating when I say that a band can have this ability, but they did. Re-listening to songs that I grew up with immediately induces memories. Happiness in some circumstances, and the feeling of growth in others. The latter particularly applies to the turbulent periods of my adolescence, wherein I would usually rinse either ‘Fat Of The Land’ or ‘Invaders Must Die’ on repeat if I had a shitty week. But that’s why it still invokes incredible emotions. It allows me to understand and accept just how far I have come, all the way back from starting out as an initially bullied, weird little kid, to now; wherein I am a successful young adult… and PROUDLY still a pretty fucking weird person.
Keith, you helped me pave my own way. I know the worth of being unique. I have embraced that, so thank you for being a core component to helping me identify and realise that fact. Rest in peace, you twisted instigator.
If you haven’t really listened to The Prodigy before, please give some of their records a listen. If you wanted a top 10 list in terms of which songs impacted my life the most, I have left that below. I am sure that I’ll be listening to them over and over for another 20 years to come.
- Voodoo People
- Their Law
- Serial Thrilla
- Diesel Power
- Smack My Bitch Up
- Out Of Space
- Bonus: Run With The Wolves