Keith Flint 1969-2019
The iconic frontman was found dead at his home aged 49. All love and sympathy goes out to his family, friends and all fans across the world at this sad time.

The Prodigy @ The Academy

By Sarah Hinksman & Simon White
The Prodigy - Birmingham Academy - Thursday 2 December 2005

Some years ago I used to holiday with a group of friends with, shall we say, diverse musical tastes. The discussions about the choice of in-car sounds between fans of goth, dance, rap and metal were both fierce and sarcastic. And The Prodigy was the only compromise.

This genre-busting band burst onto the stage at the Birmingham Academy to deliver 80 minutes of blinding, screeching, energised music that picked you up, shook you, and put you down none-too-gently.

The set, played to an animated 2700 capacity crowd, was a mixture of old and new, with the back history, notably such favourites as Breathe and the encore tracks Poison and Smack My Bitch Up receiving a more frenzied reception than the representations from their latest album, Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned.

As one might expect, this is a band that works well live. The opener, Wake Up Call, delivers much more than is promised by the recording. The vocalists burst onto the stage, the imposing Maxim delivering high-kicks into the air and an unblinking Keith Flint swiftly discarding a top hat. Neither look like people you'd want to meet in a dark alley at night and you might think twice about taking them home to meet your mum. On stage, they are in their element. Liam Howlett, the band's lynch-pin, remained behind the decks.

The Way It Is was successfully revamped for a live performance and male voice and provided a surprisingly dynamic build up before the closing track for the main show, Mindfields.

The performance was at its most electrifying when both vocalists shared the stage. Their styles - Maxim, ultra-cool yet playful, wandering the pit and delivering vocals with an air of detached oblivion as he is swamped by the hands of fans; Flint, body bent and eyes staring, delivering the focussed madness that is a virtual trademark - complement each other.

The mixed reception of the latest album may have put a question-mark over the ongoing ability of The Prodigy to live up to their reputation as showmen and musicians but their ability to pack venues and deliver a show of this calibre proves that they remain an act to watch.

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