Liam to DJ for Madonna

cool or 'selling out'?

As you have probably heard by now, Liam Howlett will be DJing at Madonna's gig in Brixton Academy on 28th November 2000. This gig is for competition winners and music industry people only, the ordinary Prodigy fan like you and me wont really get a chance to get in [read the review now].

Now the announcement of this has surprisingly stirred up a big discussion among Prodigy fans, in particular in the newsgroup Many long-time fans accuse Liam of 'selling out his principles' and 'not caring about the fans anymore'.

What do you think? e-mail me your own opinion to and I'll put it up here.

Here some opinions of Prodigy fans (unless otherwise stated from

FONZ by e-mail:
"Liam has always said that he likes to do things that people wouldn't expect
him to do, and who'd have guessed this?? The fact is that punk, as an
attitude and as a musical genre, has been so media corrupted, packaged and
sold, that those who wish to do something truly "punk" have to use their
imaginations a little more. What could me more punk than djing at a madonna
gig?? Everyone there will probably hate it!!
I've always considered Madonna to be an incredible artist and performer. She
also seems infinitely culturally aware (I dare say, more so than many of
those who have voiced their opinion here), and is no stranger to underground,
contemporary music (as demonstrated by many of her associations and musical
Considering here previous relationship with old skool producer, Jellybean
Benitez, I'm sure Liams choice of old skool breaks will not seem too alien to

"well lets all jump around with joy, another possibilty of a liam
howlett dj set being recorded, who ever records this gig or even takes
a few pics of the gig should take note, you are capturing the lowest
point in the history of the prodigy, and dont say it isnt prodigy
history because its only liam djing at a friends gig, cos that is
bullshit, liam howlett carry's the name of the prodigy anything he does
the prodigy does, Im sure adverts for this gig would carry LIAM HOWLETT
So as a prodigy fan I beg of anyone going to this gig, please please
please dont take anything of this gig home with you and if you do
please keep it private.
I think my worst nightmare would be going to the nexus site or neko's
site and seen pics of liam howlett djing with a huge madonna backdrop
in the background."

"Maybe his new pop status, with hanging around pop stars might have built up some respect in him to stand awful pop acts like Texas.
I remember being at Glastonbury last year, I had the pain to go through 35 mins of Texas while waiting for Underworld to come on, they are terrible live, worse than Mel C singing live!"

George Wynder/ What evil lurks (by e-mail):
This is not what the prodigy are about. Liam always said that he was never going to just do things because that's what the fans wanted. The fact of the matter is, is that Liam and Madonna are friends, does nobody remember the interview where madonna said she liked smack my bitch up? So what if Liam does a DJ gig before Madonna? I couldn't give a shit if he did a gig before some shitty boyband, just as long as the music doesn't suffer, and I really don't think it will. He will NOT be playing in front of a bunch of screaming madonna fans, if he was then I very much doubt he would have agreed to do the gig, he is playing to professionals and a few contest winners. Some of you have said "Lets hope the next album's good" well, I know for a fact that the next album isn't going to be the same as anything else they have ever done. Prodigy are not like that. Look at the difference between each of the 3 albums so far. Some people won't like it, I am sure, but if you really consider yourself a fan, you will not criticise the band for what they are doing. I have been a fan since experience, and I am only 15, so I have been following them for half my life! I know what I am on about, and you should too. If you complained about this gig, then I don't think you can call yourself a true prodigy fan.

True. All I've ever seen or heard about Madonna's gigs, especially recent
ones, there is a real audience closeness and it's more of a party then cos
most of them know her and are rather chilling there. It's not like it'll be
ten thousand anonymous screaming people she's facing.
But what of Liam? Being a DJ, and being less known than FBS, I'm content
to assume he'll be the very first act. A sort of opener for the DJ opener.
And how is Madonna's crowd, Richard Ashcroft fans, etc., going to react to
Liam's old school and breakbeat shit, especially when it's the first thing
they hear all night?
I think it's perfectly fine, really, as long as Liam retains his
less-chart-than-thou-art stance and plays what the fuck he wants. I just
hope not to see him cater to such a varied crowd with lightweight tunes in
an attempt to be more readily accepted. I doubt it, but we'll see.

"This is a very sad day in prodigy history, I've just been reading the
star newspaper and found a little snippet about fatboy slim talking
about the madonna gig in brixton, and im still in state of shock that
Liam has agreed to dj at that biggest heap of shit gig I think i've ever
seen, I suppose he's going to VOGUE during the Mexican, very fuckin sad,
I've been a fan from about late 92 and I don't think there has ever been
a lower low than this in prodigy history not even "Fashionably loud"."

"Can we say "sold out"? The Prodigy are fucking shit now.... hmmmm back
in the good ol' days of 97 they would've fucking laughed in madonnas
face and told her to fuck off.......... time to go burn my albums and
bootlegs. ::now::"

Prodigal One:
Hey everyone, seriously now, no need to go into mourning because liam is DJing for madonna. he IS on her label. he IS famous. he IS the man behind the prodigy. you ARE prodigy fans. someone go to the gig and record the whole thing, i'd love to hear liam play, in my opinion, a new prodigy track.

Peter Thomas:
"He's sold out some of his principles, again. I remember Liam going on
about being one of the crowd on stage, now he's gonna DJ to people who
only got in through a Madonna-knowledge lottery on a radio station. What
happened to us fans?"

"I'd rather have Prodigy on Top Of The Pops than have this happen."

"Gimme a break guys! Remember a little album called "Fat of the Land"? Why
didn't you people squeel about that selling out? That album went to #1 on
every back street's top of the pops, and you guys are bitching about one
little DJ set? If you guys are so concerned with "he ain't cool anymore now
that he's sold out" then no one's stopping you from going to "cooler"
underground music that no one's heard of. All I gotta say to this is stop
being so concerned whether he's a "sell out" or not, and start checkin' out
how to either sneak in through the Brixton's back door or rush security with
baseball bats! What fun can this DJ set be with only a handful of fans
(Madonna fans at that, who answered Madonna-related skill testing questions)
and snotty executives who were given tix so that record label paper pushers
will stay in high standing with them! I don't care if Jimi Hendrix is
playing, if the crowd blows goats, so will the atmosphere. If I was GIVEN
tickets for free, I'd fucken sell them in 2 seconds flat despite my respect
for Liam...
Besides, if Liam wants to hang out with slutgurl..i mean madonna, then so be
it. i respected prodigy because of the music, not because of liam howlett.
as long as he puts out good shit, i really couldn't care less if he got
caught fucking benny hill up the ass.
basically what i'm saying is don't blame liam for this, i'm sure someone
talked him into doing it for either big bucks or some other collateral
otherwise i think he would have second thoughts.
besides, when it's all said and done, liam's just gonna be like "what have i
done??? these people don't care about my dj set! they're all madonna teenie
hey man, he's the only one who's gonna look stupid, but don't diss his

Rob de Ford:
"I don't care who he dates or who he hangs around with, as long as the
music doesn't suffer. If the upcoming album is as good as the previous
three, then Liam can hang out with O.J. Simpson for all I care."

Tom Bell:
The simple fact is that although he may not have that underground persona any longer, he still knows how to produce some great quality music. Don't worry about his image, worry about the music. Hopefully the next album will be good anyway."

Peter Chain (by e-mail):
"Anyway, what do people bang in their empty heads?? Liam is POP star, Prodigy
are POP stars! RATM were POP stars. They all recorded albums to earn money,
they attended gigs to make people buy their music and they earned some more
money on that, quite a logical. Madonna is the most talanted of pure(?)-pop
stars so far..
"BUY NOW!!! BUY US!!! BUY OUR GUTTERS!!!" - say offspring when trying to act
cool raw fucking punk rock, though people get the message, spinning by mtv,
they wouldn't spot out the band without it! They are sellouts, not Prodigy or
any of it's members. Do you fuckers care reading? I don't care typing, I'm
just laughing on you if you say "Liam is a sellout".
By the way, don't you think he's too damn weak? I wonder how he can still
walk, he's a fucking sceleton already, he shoud push up, pull up...
...AND STOP PLUGGING A NEEDLE IN ARM!!! Hehe, sorry Liam :)"

Z|®©0/\/ (by e-mail):
"Ok first off, Liam is probably doing this gig to get in good with his label, not to get in good with Madonna. Second off, so what? It's a gig, and as a musician myself I've had to play shitty gigs to keep people happy or to try to get some promotion for an upcoming release. You have to think, because supposedly there is a new prodigy CD coming out, there will be alot of radio people there, what better way to promote it? Third, why should we say someone is selling out when they make it big? Just because a person is getting paid, doing big gigs, and selling CDs doesn't mean that he has sold out. It means that he has made it big. Now I'm not saying that Liam should go off and dj for the backstreet boys or any shite like that, I'm just saying that this is one gig. You people complain about him not thinking about the fans because this is an invite only, but you are completely wrong. He's doing this for the fans. If he can get in good with people that means more gigs, it means more airplay it means more fans. Which brings me to another point. Why do you people have a problem with new fans?? Personally I love the Prodigy and I want everyone to know how great they are. I guess that's all I really have to say....................."

Dena Flint (by e-mail):
i totally back liam up even though i hate madonna and i think he really shouldn't be doing this but, its liam's seperate project, and he should do whatever makes him happy. Maybe no one wants him to but this is liam's decision to make and he should do waht he wants!! And it would be totally different if prodigy toured with her but this is just his side project- so i say do what makes you happy Liam!

Sebastien Bondue (by e-mail):
"It doesn't matter if Liam plays at this gig!! The most importance is the music!! Madonna smells like shit but prodigy and liam are still the same!! The place is not important and It could be with madonna or someone else, Liam will play this music!! he will play what he like and I think for him Madonna has no importance!! What is important for him in my opinion is his music and not something else! There is only one thing which dissapointed me! Why liam plays only in United Kingdom?? WHY??? This is the question :o(("

LazyGit (by e-mail):
"This backlash is just the kind of shit that I expect from people who don't know the Prodigy. So what if Liam's DJing at a Madonna party? Oh, yeah, it's her party BTW, not a commercial gig, the only reason you know about it is because Radio1 is giving away tickets for it. The Prodigy move in high social circles and they're also on Madonna's label in the states so they've met a few times and if Liam's friends with Madonna and he wants to do a bit of DJing at her party then he can do, what fucking business is it of yours what he does with his spare time? We all know Liam's not a sellout, if he was then he would taken up Madonna's offer to co-write her last album instead of laughing it off. I doubt Liam likes any of Madonna's music and I bet he definitely wouldn't be doing support at a proper Madonna gig, he'd be booed off stage for one. Yes, that's right, not everybody likes Prodigy and Madonna fans aren't going to enjoy listening to Smack My Bitch Up alongside 'Like A Virgin'.
Liam can do what he wants, as long as the Prodigy sound is still the
Prodigy sound nothing else matters, not who he dates, who he's friends
with, what cars he buys or where he goes for pizza. You'll have all
forgotten this when the next album comes out an it's their best yet."

Adnan, Danamrk (by e-mail):
"First of all he plays some pop at fabric, then hanging out with all saints and now dj-ing for madonna. This a huge change of Howletts personality. If you have red the book; music for the voodoo crew, then you see what Liam says about popmusic. Prodigy is nothing anymore. The dancer of 9 years is gone, maxims doing solo very sucsesfully and Liams home working on so colled 4. album. Can it get better. Prodigy fans need to get some informations and answers. What the hell is wrong with the best "electronica band in the wide world".

Hyena (by e-mail):
Fat Of The Land being a sell-out record was more of a coincidence and
phenomenon. Liam at that time said he wrote music for himself. He also
mentioned the music scene stinks now, thus the recollection of his records
in Dirtchamber Sessions Volume 1. I think until Natalie, he hardly went
clubbing...what i am afraid has happened is that while hanging out with the
mainstream, he felt a need to fit in coz he mentioned in Voodoo Crew that he
hardly did back in school. Thus,he accepted the invitation. Either that he
did it out of maintaining good terms with the label, after delaying the
album for so long...yet again...
I hope Liam's musical taste has stayed as unique and diverse, but that his
ideas more innovative and different from yesteryears. Prodigy is a
successful band and we had made them richer by spreading their great music,
fucking attitude, cool videos around and not that they're the "in" thing or
marketed to be! It just happened out of our demand and expectations. I was
disappointed to learn that he was supporting Madonna but nevertheless, we
can truly debate this "sell-out" issue only after listening to the new

Diane Willard by e-mail:
"I get so frustrated hearing about these fans who are quick to turn on Liam,
just because he chooses to do something that they may not agree with. Ok,
I'm not exactly happy with the decision he made, but I'm still sticking by
him AS a fan. He's doing a gig, he's not changing his ways. He's a dj, and
last time I checked, djs do gigs. Hmmm. Ok maybe it's just me who sees it
that way. His friend asked him for a fun favor. He has to say no to his
friends because his fans don't approve??? NO. Fuck them. <sorry> Just
because I don't exactly like what he has decided to do doesn't mean I turn
on him. I have been a fan since day one, well as day one as I can get over
here. <being a Prodigy fan and living in the US kind of sucks> I will be a
fan until the day I die. I may not like what they do all the time, but I
would follow Liam and Prodigy where ever they go. I'm anticipating the
release of their new masterpiece later next year. Can't wait!!"

Paul Mhttas (by e-mail):
"Hey! I don't want to hear any more of these crap. Will you all guys just shut the fuck up. WHO THE FUCK ARE WE, to judge Liam's choices. Any of you that will say ' Liam's has sold out' is 10000% not a real prodigy fan. Just listen to your saying. It was just yesterday that we were all jumping , screaming and dancing when a new prodigy vibe was on sale and now all of you, just go on and put fucking names at prodigy music. Anyone who is a real prodigy fan will remember that Liam's idea of making music was not to name he's music and the prodigy style. And then some of you will saying that prodigy are THE ELECTRONIC PUNKS or others might say that prodigy are playing RAVE music or BIG-BEAT and more bullshits like these. So now that Liam's Dj set with Madonna is unounced the word POP comes in and everyone becomes Fucking wrong with all the event. Becide that a real prodigy fan will also know that Liam is not only o prodigy member but also a Pure DJ and DJing was his first music experience ever before deciding to come with new material and the prodigy. Even the Nekosite shouldn't create this article cause some of you, supposed to be prodigy fans, if you search deep incide you'll find that there's nothing more than music. Music is love and care and buzz and dance. Music is not names and categories. Liam Howllet know's that. Why can't you."


My own opinion?

I don't consider it to be such an important thing, people are getting a bit too hysterical here. Nice that Liam is DJing again and Madonna is in my opinion a credible artist who has achieved a lot. If Liam wants to DJ at her gig, then why shouldn't he?

A bit a shame that it's going to be almost impossible for us fans to get in, though. I'd love to go. It would be interesting to see how a crowd of Madonna fans and music industry people will react to Liam's DJ set (if they are interested at all).

e-mail me your own opinion to and I'll put it up here.



copyright 2000 by neko, all rights reserved