Ah, poor old Daphne and Celeste – a popette duet from the turn of the century. Some record executive thought that it would be a good idea to have two fifteen year old girls* sing rather vapid bubblegum pop. Who can forget the classic 'Stick you' or the legendary 'U.G.L.Y' infectious like playground herpes they attracted ridicule immediately.
They disappeared as quickly as they appeared and haven't troubled anyone since**.
I wonder sometimes, in those quiet hours of the morning when the hallucinations start, what they are up to now. I picture an older, wiser Daphne (whichever of the two that one was) sitting her daughter on her knee, then starting the DVD with her music videos on it.
“That's me”, she tells her daughter, “but let's keep that our little secret”.
The DVD returned to the top shelf at the back of the bookcase, she cautions her daughter on the perils of the pop business.
You see, back in 2000 Daphne and Celeste played the Leeds and Reading Rock Festival.
The important word in that sentence is 'Rock'.
You see, the normal sorts of bands that play the Leeds/Reading festivals are rock bands, bands like the Foo Fighters, Placebo, Muse and Rage Against The Machine and the audience of the festival know this. The people who go to the Leeds/Reading festival are adults who like their music to have some guitar to it, but are happy to listen to a bit of Chemical Brothers or The Streets if the mood takes them.
Daphne and Celeste were pretty much the antithesis of this type of music, anybody in their target age range who go to Leeds/Reading are the sort who listen to My Chemical Romance or spray their hair blue for the weekend.
Poor Daphne, poor Celeste – their recording label had no doubt booked them for the 'controversy' as they first took the stage at Leeds. I wonder if the girls realised this and tried to get out of performing, only to be 'spoken to' by their record company.
They weren't so much booed off, they were showered with plastic bottles. Plastic bottles filled with urine.
And who threw those bottles? The people who like the slightly strange music, the non-mainstream, those who were bullied because they liked 'goth' or 'emo' or 'indie'. Finally they could pick on someone who wouldn't fight back.
Due to the way the Leads/Reading festival is organised poor Daphne and Celeste were scheduled to play Reading the next day. Rumours spread around the camp, would they get the same reception as at Leeds? Would they perform behind a plexiglass shield? Would they really turn up?
I remember standing at the back of the crowd when they were due to perform, I wasn't a huge fan but the pair had a ten minute set between two bands that I fancied seeing (ironically bands whose names have since escaped my memory).
They came on stage, staying towards the back of the stage the first bar of their song played over the sound system.
From where I stood I could no longer see the stage. Like the scene in '300' where the arrows block out the sun, the stage was blocked out by bottles full of urine.
Hundreds of people were throwing bottles of piss at two young girls.
The audience played right into the record label's hands, providing them with the most talked about story of the event.
A loud, violent and messy protest ended up achieving exactly the opposite.
What would have been more effective would have been if everyone just quietly turned their back on the two of them, non-violent, yet signalling disgust at the blatant whoring from the record company.
Instead of that, all these 'mature', 'intelligent' and 'people of musical taste' perpetrated an act of violence against two young women.
You can only imagine what the girl's parents thought, I wonder if they realised that they had 'pimped out' their children to the music industry, an industry not exactly known for treating it's performers as anything other than trained cattle.
Here is the video of their performance at Reading. I wonder if those that threw the bottles are still proud of what they did.
*Or maybe not fifteen – accounts vary, if you believe IMDB Daphne at least would have been nineteen, if you believe the NME she would have been younger.