Monday, March 04, 2019


Went to bed, after watching Leaving Neverland, feeling troubled...

Woke up uneasy, to find out that Keith Flint has died.

Every week there seems to be some new sickening blow (as if the actual news-news wasn't sufficiently distressing).

What a performer, an energy force.

As Andrew Harrison noted in  New Statesman, "the best pop stars are cartoons – instantly recognisable, bright, bold and primary-coloured, and in their simplicity far larger and more thrilling than life."

Keith Flint's commitment to his 2D role gave it an electrifying conviction. 

I always liked to compare the cross-over era Prodigy with The Sweet - pure excitement for its own sake, a perfectly wrought storm of hooks and hysteria.

That analogy doesn't quite work because Howlett and crew were an autonomous unit, rather than puppets - writing and producing their own material, fully in control of the hit factory.

But perhaps another punk-before-punk parallel does fit: Alice Cooper. A band that worked perfectly as pop-with-edge for teenagers, while grown-ups might enjoy them without being able to take it seriously. And yet, and yet... for all the vaudeville aspect, a band that in moments actually conjured - purely through sound and structured frenzy  - a sense of apocalyptic drama and danger.

Another in that lineage would be Adam and the Ants.