“I’m off to see The Prodigy later.”
“The Prodigy, mum.”
“Aren’t they that metal band?”
“No, Dad, they’re The Prodigy.”
This was the conversation I had as I swung by home to say hello, intending to raid the fridge but ended up playing my parents the most popular Prodigy tracks on Spotify. I had been so excited to see The Prodigy all day, but playing Firestarter to my parents and dancing to get them hyped me up even more.
Something that was driving the excitement on was my hazy memories of seeing The Prodigy play Reading in 2009, and being squeezed into the crashing waves of people being moved by The Prodigy’s huge sound, and feeling a little bit overwhelmed at being referred to as Maxim’s “Reading warriors”.
The excitement was shared amongst everybody at the Brighton centre, despite it being a Monday night: you could feel it in the air, see it in people’s wild eyes (just the excitement, there) and the weird concoction of punk, dane, metal and even reggae dress ups (so many dreadlocks). I think the look of the crowd just acts as credit to how many styles The Prodigy mould into their unique sound: the intensely loud vocals of Keith Flint to the point of expertly controlled overdrive and feedback, the raw punk energy of the drums, the techno beats, and the sampling of reggae’s big players like Max Romeo – these elements to the band’s sounds do a tiny tip of the hat to all the bands that influenced The Prodigy, and to the groups they must have rubbed shoulders with or gone on to influence during their long career. Their long career full of bitchingly good tunes.
I had a seated ticket unfortunately, so thought I’d buy myself a couple of pints to cheer myself up, but the moment I got in and sat down I got back up again to throw myself around to Omen, a tune I was throwing myself round to as a teenager when it first came out. The Brighton centre isn’t the biggest of venues but the sound the band made was so mahoosive it felt like they were playing to a stadium much larger than the 4,500 capacity space.
As the bangers kept coming, Smack My Bitch Up transcending everyone to another level of energy, the lights and stage produced some intense visual spectacles you couldn’t take your eyes off. The crowd were reeling off the energy the band showed on stage, and the sound amplified was explosive, everybody left sweaty and smiling, like they’d been to a party a bit like the one in the video of said Smack My Bitch Up. The Prodigy’s new album, No Tourists, brings even more raw energy dance tracks, still drawing up those sounds from their older material (the album title track even sounding a bit Beastie Boys-esque), and I’m sure people seeing them on this tour will be just as mind blown as I was in Brighton.
The Prodigy, Brighton Centre | 05/11/2018
Review by George Imbert
Photos by Gili Dailes