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Baker's Dozen

Music Is My Saviour: Melanie C's Favourite Albums
Emma Garland , September 30th, 2020 09:07

Melanie C guides Emma Garland through 13 favourite records in Bakers' Dozen stories from being blessed by Keith from the Prodigy to stage invading a Blur gig, with love for Madonna, Oasis, Fiona Apple and much more along the way


Prodigy – The Prodigy Experience
I’m an old raver, I’m not ashamed to say. I discovered rave on my first holiday without parents. We went to this place called L'Estartit, which is in the Costa Brava in Spain. It must have been 1990 or 1991 and – this is just how much things have changed, right – we were there self-catering for two weeks and we had £100 spending money. We lived on beans, beer and Malibu, and on the last night we saved up enough to go out for pizza. So cute innit. There was this square at the time with lots of bars, and every bar had a DJ. That’s when I discovered dance music. There had been a bit coming through and crossing over into the charts before that, but I was a bit too young in the late 80s – I hadn’t been out, I hadn’t been clubbing, and so in this square I heard this music and saw everyone dancing in this way I’d never experienced before. 

When I got back to London, where I was still a student at the time, some of the girls we knew went to raves and warehouse parties and they asked if I wanted to go and I said “YES”. That was the beginning of my love affair with The Prodigy. I have so many fond memories of my early raving days discovering this crazy world, and then to see them become this huge, mainstream, almost theatrical act that played to thousands of people all over the world… I don’t think there’s another band like them that has made such a huge crossover in such a way. Faithless inhabits a similar world, but it’s hard to compare. The Prodigy took club culture and exploded it into a rock arena, headlining huge venues and festivals. I’ve seen them a few times but I was so lucky to see them at Ally Pally a couple of years ago before Keith passed away, and I’m so grateful I got that opportunity. Keith was amazing as well – he’s a bit crazy! A little bit scary! In person he was a really gentle kind man, but on stage he was this nutter. There you go, I identify again [laughs]. 

When was the first time you saw them?

This is brilliant. You’re going to love this. The first time I saw The Prodigy it was at a nightclub called Mr Smith’s in Warrington and I’m pretty sure it was an under-18s night – I’m not sure what I was doing there because I was definitely older. Mr Smith’s was a proper traditional town club; fights every Saturday, The Hitman And Her used to be filmed in there – it was one of those – but on Monday/s they had a ‘rave night’. I went with some friends who were doing a PA and Keith grabbed my hand because I was right at the front. That, for many years, has been my claim to fame.

It’s like he blessed you!

Yes, go forth my child!