Can Spice Girls make music with iPhones?

I'll wager they can't, but all-female Brit band The Mentalists certainly can. Using software from the iPhone App Store, the group makes music using nothing but their handsets.

Critics will say the Spice Girls and Go-Go's never made music. Certainly, those bands never made music with iPhones.

A funny, creative YouTube video is starting to go viral. The clip, viewed more than 147,000 times, showcases an all-female band from Great Britain, called The Mentalists, re-creating "Kids" by MGMT with only their iPhones and iPod Touches.

Kim-Leigh Pontin, the band's singer, told CNET News on Friday that she came up with the idea while she and her band mates were messing around with their Apple handhelds. They acquired all of the instrument-simulation software from the iPhone App Store.

"I'm the band's biggest geek," said Pontin, 30, whose day job is working as a designer for an interactive TV company. "I'm really a want-to-be geek. Is that worse?"

On the video, titled "Live iPhone musical performance," Pontin plays a software version of the ocarina, a flute-like instrument. The Ocarina app was created by Smule.

Alice Offley, 27, the group's bassist, uses her device to play the miniSynth, a keyboard synthesizer app from Yonac Software. Kelly Appleton, 26, the band's guitarist, plays the Retro Synth application from Iconic Apps. Lyndsay Evans, 28, the drummer, uses the DigiDrummer Lite application from developers Magnus Larsson and Nick Rudolfsky.

According to Pontin, they weren't paid or encouraged by any of the app makers. Nonetheless, the companies involved like the attention.

Jessica Peters is a public relations representative for New York-based Yonac Software, which makes the miniSynth. She said the company couldn't ask for a better demonstration of its wares.

The Mentalists Duane Melius

Pontin, who said the band struggled slightly with software latency problems, did have some suggestions for software makers.

"There's a tiny little delay when hitting (the screen) that doesn't happen all the time," Pontin said. "It makes it hard to adjust for it a little. There's just a tiny bit of uncertainty."

"We're working on improving that," said Peters. "There used to be more latency. We've definitely improved it."

Pontin said not to worry too much about the delay: "The fun factor of holding a musical instrument with you wherever you go makes up for it."

 

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