Wind It Up

A. worries when we listen to old hardcore and rave tunes.

She knows I can’t help myself. As once the music kicks in, so will my urge to “bust out” a move or two.

The running man, mainly. On a knee that has seen four different sets of scalpels and surgeons hands. That has been diagnosed with arthritis. Which carries the frame of a 14 stone and some man.

It’s all Keith Flint’s fault.

From The Gin Palace in Acton Town, through to Ritzy’s in Kingston. The Hammersmith Palais, Club UK and Orange nights across London and beyond. My sweat and synovial fluid were lost on those dance floors. Trying to emulate a man that felt more in reach – more like us, than those around him.

I was never going to be a musician or a truly gifted DJ. I didn’t have the stage presence to be an MC as I was juggling double geography during the day, and a fake ID at night when I was 17. What I did have, was a pair of black Stan Smiths to get past the bouncers, as well as a reckless abandon for what shuffling from one foot to another was doing to my knee.

The Prodigy were everything to a 17 year old, freshly removed from college, and working every hour in Burger King so that I could afford to go out on a Saturday night. From the high octane sounds of Experience, to the two finger salute to the criminal justice bill. Music and politics for a jilted generation.

But it was really the movement on the floor – rather than in the political space – that I remember most. If I close my eyes now, I can remember being back on the dance floor in a suburban sweat box. Bottle of lime topped Sol in one hand, as the other waves and gesticulates in time with my feet.

A blur of leather and regret. That I had to be home by 1am and not on a world tour with my mate, Keith.

Keith Flint (1969 – 2019)

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