In 2000 Daphne and Celeste were a teenage pop outfit, (perhaps misguidedly) playing at the Reading Festival in England. Prior to this, the girls had enjoyed a couple of minor chart hits in the UK and New Zealand, including ‘Ooh Stick you’ and ‘U.G.L.Y.’
They were an anomaly. No one was making pop music like them at the time (arguably no one ever has) but if I was fighting against John Cena at Wrestlemania, I would choose ‘Ooh Stick You’ as my entrance theme, to instil fear and trepidation into the heart of my (kayfaybe) opponent.
Their songs could be described as 4-minute, hi-octane streams of peppy, playground insults, including sample lyrics such as “You’re so fat and ugly with a belly full of flab/ When you wear a yellow coat, people shout out ‘CAB!'”, which is horrific.
However, In the United States, no one (not even yo’ mommy, yo’ daddy, or greasy greasy grandmommy) had even heard of them.
Then they took to the stage at Reading, fearing that the crowds would simply walk out en masse. People in the crowd did not walk out however– they threw piss.
There were bottles of piss flying through the air onto the stage. Someone even threw their wheelchair at them, such was the level of pure hatred being directed at the girls.
Imagine objecting so strongly to something, that would would give up your very mobility in order to show disapproval/injure them.
For a moment, please imagine a World where it’s a pair of teenage girls on a stage, that you would find most objectionable, out of everything in the World that’s even slightly objectionable.
Now breathe and contemplate that Daphne and Celeste must have wielded some kind of untapped, misdirected power in pre-9/11 irrational hatred culture.
If Donita Sparks pulling out her tampon at the same festival in 1992 and chucking it into the audience as a crowd control method is considered a rock star response, Daphne and Celeste opted to take it on the chin, keep on grinning and stayed onstage for the remainder of their set. Kind of badass, right?
To this day the duo agree there was “something beautiful” about the way so many people came together, united in their hatred of them. After being dropped shortly after the Reading fiasco, the girls remained friends and went about their lives away from the weird teen pop lifestyle
Now fifteen years later, Daphne and Celeste are back with a new video and guess what? It’s also unlike any other pop music out there at the moment. Interestingly, this time it’s actually not bad.
‘You and I Alone’ is produced by experimental pop music maker, Max Tundra with the aim of taking a product that everyone hated and turning it into something that people wouldn’t throw bottles of piss at.
Using sampled footsteps, creaky gates and minimalist sound design, Tundra and the girls have created a very stripped down sonic pop nugget.
All evidence points to the fact that the girls were never actually as horrible as their previous lyrics suggested and that they were just the unfortunate pawns in a supreme music market research misstep.
If you’re morbidly curious (hopeful even), check out the video for ‘You and I Alone’ below. Try not to throw piss at your screen though. It’s bad for your computer.