Last week i was drunkenly telling one of my stories about festivals seeing as it’s nearly festival time again, and the story I was telling was that of Daphne and Celeste playing the Reading Festival in 2000.
For those that don’t know, Daphne and Celeste were a pop band that had some annoyingly catchy pop songs that were on one hand brilliant in their terribleness, but at the same time, utterly dreadful. They were very much Schrodinger’s pop group. People utterly loathed them but I thought, and still do, that their version of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out is just utterly fucking brilliant.
But generally in those post-Britpop/pre-Simon Cowell time this sort of manufactured pop suffered a massive backlash mainly due to most of it being pretty awful, but compared to the dismal pop of today, Daphne and Celeste’s bubblegum pop really was part of a Silver Age before the Shit Age of Pop Idol and X Factor made pop something to endure, rather than laugh at, enjoy and move onto something else.
Anyhow, some genius at their record company decided to get them on the bill at Reading, just before Slipknot if I remember right. To say that their 15 or so minutes went down badly with a crowd of angry teen Slipknot and Fred Durst fans is a tad of an understatement as this footage shows.
The legend goes that a wheelchair was thrown at them. A bloody wheelchair! That shows serious commitment to the cause, but for me that’s one of the most punk things I’ve ever seen Two wee girls standing up in front of a crowd of thousands of people that hate them singing and dancing their annoying/brilliant bubblegum pop. Sadly this was their high point as the pair split not long after this due mainly to crap sales, but really the venom thrown at them (some of which I remember being massively misogynist) ensured an end for them but they did have fans. An ex-girlfriend of mine just adored the pair so that’s why I have Daphne and Celeste CD’s in my collection as she didn’t take them with her after we split.
So I was spinning this story about Reading, people were laughing and a wee voice at the back of my head wondered what happened to the pair. A check of their Wiki page shows that they did various acting jobs, and most bizarrely did a tour with Lolly (and there’s a story I have about her for another time) in 2005 in what seems like a desperate attempt to have a mini-revival.
And that should have been that for Daphne and Celeste. Forever to be a source of a good festival story from people like me, but no. Yesterday they sneaked back with the Max Tundra produced song You and I Alone, and it’s actually just bloody brilliant. In fact any song that references Twin Peaks is brilliant.
Nobody expected this. There was as far as I know, no announcement, no nothing apart from a Tweet, and a link to their website and this new song. I do hope this isn’t all there;s going to be as if this is the quality they’re going for I’d listen to more, and I hope they return to Reading, if only to get a better response this time.
Now, 2015 would be great if we could get a Shampoo reunion…..