Keith Flint, frontman of the Prodigy, has lit up the sky today.
One of the most vitally alive performers of his generation, his death is a massive shock as he was widely believed to be completely indestructible.
Flint, who was a scary clown in the 1990s before scary clowns were even a thing, provided a frontman for a disaffected generation in a post-industrial malaise – bringing escape to people who often had no other form of release except in the joyous, numinous experience of music.
This was a music and a style which transcended genres, as welcome in a pit as a rave, and which defied easy categorization; Keith Flint’s look and style was alien and twisted but also instantly recognisable and welcomed across a variety of musical subcultures in a way few have achieved before or since.
His is a loss which will be felt keenly by people who have little in common with each other beyond that sudden kick to the heart rate at the opening siren of Firestarter, but it is that moment of exhilaration which unites them as human and family in an otherwise uncaring world.
DJ’s are already trying to pick the track which defined him to play to mourn his passing, which is almost impossible as every last one of them was a downright banger.
But a fire, once started, lights those who are warmed by its flames – and it is their duty to bear it forwards even when the spark has died, because in it we live forever.