The Pink Toothbrush, Keith Flint and I


This past Saturday night, a casual night in the pub was called on with the immortal question of “Brush?” The Pink Toothbrush is an alternative club in Rayleigh, Essex. Open for over 35 years now, It’s become a rite pf passage for the young, a reset pilgrimage for the aged, and this past Saturday, it was the Church of Keith Flint.

To some, it’s a just night out, to others, hearing tracks by IDLES, Courteeners, and classic anthems is life affirming. Five days on from the tragic death of Keith Flint, Brush (as its really known), was a chance to grieve, Prodigy style.

Full of love and punk spirit, Brush became more than just an indie club. It was brothers and sisters in arms. Brush, is depicted by people like me. Not confident enough to hit that dancefloor immediately. A level of drunkenness is needed and then, then you play the waiting game. Sitting on edge whilst the piss taking among friends is in full swing, really, I’m waiting for that ONE to kick the night off. Dj’s Darren and Russell duly obliged with ‘Omen’.

The iconic single from, arguably the greatest comeback album of all time ‘Invaders Must Die’ sent the room into a frenzy. The hint of dubstep funnelled through their archetypal rave sound was this crowds hymn. When Keith snarled “the writings on the wall / it won’t go away”, I was drawn to the Ian Curtis painting by the exit. Curtis’ demise was also too soon but, on this occasion, his image was a reassuring sight. Flint will live forever!

The night unravels as per usual from here on in, Snakebites (or a Rodney, a Rayleigh speciality) are spilt and split opinions over the 1975 ensue. However, when Darren and Russell drop ‘Firestarter’, ‘Voodoo People’, ‘Out of Space’ and ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, a togetherness was tangible.

Strangers are hugged and hoisted from the floor and hugged again. This mayhem was about the love of a fellow Essex boy who took a swing and hit it out the park for over 30 years.

Thank you Darren. Thank you Russell. Thank you Pink Toothbrush and before we get sued by Alanis Morissette, thank You Keith, you total fucking legend.