Daphne and Celeste review, Boston Music Rooms, London: Bonkers and brilliant

Unlikeliest of comebacks is an electropop winner

Darren Scott
Wednesday 04 April 2018 11:03
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It’s been 18 years since their first album, and when the lights don’t go up at the start of their comeback London gig, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Daphne and Celeste are very reluctant pop stars.

Thankfully it’s not the case, as they set the scene for what’s going to be a very interesting, and all too short, evening.

As “You And I Alone” - a song they released in 2015 – begins, they play with torches to illuminate their faces and it’s clear the American duo are already having a ball.

They’re joined on stage by Max Tundra, the electronic genius who brought them back from the infamous ‘dumper’ and produced their quite brilliant new album, Daphne and Celeste Save The World.

It’s clear he loves it as much as you should, really going for it when new track “Sunny Day” kicks in. The lights go up and Celeste flips on a bubble machine.

The crowd are then treated to two further new tracks, “A.L.T.O.” and “Whatever Happened To Yazz”, an ode to popstars of yesteryear. When they ask the crowd that very question, Daphne is slightly taken aback. “She died?” Reader, she didn’t die.

But acknowledging their own unique place in pop history (“Whatever happened to Daphne and Celeste?” “Well, obviously we’re here…”) they say it’s only fitting they do one of their old songs. And then they fuck up the intro, laughing in their usual way that, in fact, everything is funny.

“Ooh Stick You” is still a crowd-pleaser, almost 20 years later, and the girls throw inflatable ice cream cones and beach balls into the audience. It’s a brave, and somewhat inspired, move to potential arm people giving their historic bottling incident at Reading Festival. Thankfully nothing makes its way back this time.

It’s ironic their vocals were originally pitched up all those years ago, because they actually sound great.

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Daphne starts modelling balloons – one of her hidden talents – and places an ornate crown on Max’s head, which he wears throughout the rest of the gig. In short, they’re all having a blast.

Recent release “BB” aka ‘basic buskers’ is next, and then new single “Alarms”, which “needs to be at Ministry Of Sound levels” raises the roof. That might be down to Max’s interpretive dancing behind the girls, it might be down to the giant bags of balloons they run off stage to throw into the crowd.

Of course, no Daphne and Celeste show would be complete without that song and, after kooky album-opener “Save The World”, they do indeed launch into “U.G.L.Y.” Complete with original dance moves. And it’s still an utterly brilliant pop song.

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