Daphne and Celeste

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.

How 'rebellious'.

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.

** Daphne (real name Karen Diconcetto) appeared in the film 'The House is Burning'

16 thoughts on “Daphne and Celeste”

  1. when I saw the post title on the rss feed i thought this might be another testicle post… i'd heard people give their love spuds names.although the bottling was a bit cruel.. it was very funny and is one of the only reasons anyone remembers the happless pair.

  2. Completely unrelated but check this out… “Emergency transport of the future may have ejector seats to launch paramedics quickly into the thick of the action.”http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7986460.stm

  3. How things dont change, the site still looks exactly the same all these years later.Maybe putting the spice girls up would have caused less of a riot maybe just maybe

  4. Oh, what a blast from the past, I was on duty covering the stage when this happened. Of course, that was back in the days when music was proper music, not like this modern nonsense,it's all noise nowadays.IIRC they were on just before Slipknot, an inspired bit of ironic programming… Like lambs to the slughter.

    I could tell you a good story related to this, but patient confidentiallity and all that…



  5. Lethal Bizzle had a very similar welcome at download festival. There were pots of muller rice being given away for free that day, and most of it was hurled at the rapper. I was at the front of the crowd, and I was actually enjoying it, I thought he was one of the best performers of the day! It just shocks me at how alternative people, who have more than likely been ridiculed for the way they dress/music they listen to/etc. have became those bullies themselves. Lethal Bizzle stuck it out, he did his whole set, and eventually had most of the crowd on his side, and I was there cheering him on. I think his clothes were a bit wrecked though, he was pelted by all those yoghurts. Here's what I was in the middle of; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsI58J6QRGsMadness!

  6. A friend of mine was their manager at the time – he is responsible for that terrible abuse of the Reading/Leeds Fest. I still blame him.

  7. I have to disagree that the protesting against them in general was deplorable, played right into the management's hands, etc: mainly because I'd forgotten all about these two a few days after it happened.Yet, had the crowd just done the weary, ignoring-the-act thing, the label WOULD have hyped that as their “well-received opening at the festivals, proving their crossover appeal” – meaning we may have had to endure a run of light (crappy) pop groups opening festivals!

    That was an idea best aborted, IMO – also, as someone with a fanatical need to be in the front 5 rows at any gig, why should ticket-paying fans have had to endure this garbage silently, just in order to keep a good spot?

    Yeah, bottles of pee – not very nice. But neither is pissing on a captive audience of music fans, by doing the equivalent of serving a customer on a burger bar a cockroach sandwich, and that's something many management and labels are only too keen to do.

  8. I think Rage Against the Machine were on before. And I seem to remember that when they were announcing the upcoming bands on the big screens by the stage, it actually said “Daphne & Celeste!!!!”, like the guy typing it couldn't even believe it himself…And I think later on in that weekend, the vocalist from Dillinger Escape plan threw his own faeces into the crowd. Man, it was a full and memorable weekend. One to tell the grandkids about!

    Didn't something similar happen to 50 cent a few years later?

  9. Are you okay kid?Stupid comment, but today I saw 2 or 3 people, who looked a bit like you… I know, but made me think of ya.

    I dunno what to say now, blown my commenter cred forever no doubt :o)

    Be careful, okay? Life can look up. Oh shit, I'll just stfu now!

  10. I remember seeing this on a kids show just after the event. What youtube doesn't show is the backstage crew applauding them as they went off. I have worked backstage at big gigs and some times it really feels as if the crowd are the enemy – so anything that pisses the crowd off must be good.Hope your health probs clear up soon.

  11. Trouble is, it was the management who served the cockroach sandwich, but the management weren't the ones who got covered in piss.There must have been a hundred better ways of expressing disapproval to the management which didn't involve anything quite as disgusting as lobbing gallons of bodily fluids at a couple of kids.

  12. I'd never heard of Daphne and Celeste -and now I feel old because it took me a moment or two to realise 'turn of the century' didn't mean 1900/1901… : (

  13. hmmmmm…last post was on the 7th April and it's now 14th…the milk bottles are piling up outside the door and the neighbors are getting worried.

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