Play it again, Chas: Chas & Dave make their big comeback

 

Hits such as Snooker Loopy, Rabbit and Gertcha established Chas & Dave as two of the towering figures of the 1980s light entertainment-pop cross over world. Now, 18 years since their last album the Rockney duo are being re-launched as the credible grandfathers of British rock n’ roll.

Record company Warner Brothers, fresh from making House actor Hugh Laurie into a bankable jazz-blues recording star, will release a new album of material next month going back to their roots on the 50s skiffle scene.

Produced by Joe Henry, who has worked with Elvis Costello and Hugh Laurie, That’s What Happens, has already been hailed by Jamie Cullum, with whom they have recorded a forthcoming BBC Radio 4 documentary. Cullum describes them as “my musical heroes” and “two of the finest musicians to come out of this country”.

Pianist and lead singer Chas Hodges said the duo had long been forced to put up with suggestions that there music was little more than a joke.

“We were dubbed with the novelty tag in a lot of people’s eyes years ago which was slightly annoying but then you go along with it. If they can’t see that we are great musicians then they are missing something,” the 69-year-old told The Independent.

There are some who will always struggle to take Ossie’s Dream – a paean to their favourite football team Tottenham Hotspur and its striker Osvaldo Ardiles - or 1986’s Snooker Loopy which featured Steve Davis and Denis Taylor on backing vocals, seriously.

According to Hodges however these people are wrong. “To me it’s like having a bit of fun along the way. As soon as you start having some fun people don’t take you seriously for some reason.

"I suppose that is true in any profession. They think `oh they can’t be any good; they are in the studio with a football team'. It was fun and they were good football songs,” he said.

Hodges and partner Dave Peacock have a pedigree going back decades before Gertcha made them household names. Both were sought after session musicians and played with Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, a band that was signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein

Hodges recalls supporting the Fab Four on their final European tour.

“They could have been playing anything literally – that is no exaggeration. As soon as they started it was like a scream machine cranked up to number 11 continually from the start to the finish. That was the whole set,” he said.

Having honed his skills playing with Lonnie Donegan, Gene Vincent and his hero Jerry Lee Lewis, Hodges was also in The Outlaws alongside Peacock and his old friend Ritchie Blackmore, who went on to form Deep Purple. In 1975 both Hodges and Peacock appeared on Labi Siffre’s Remember My Song which was sampled by Eminem for My Name Is, three decades later.

But the big idea came during a US tour when Hodges decided it was time to stop putting on an American accent and start singing in his true north London voice. He returned to Britain hooked up with his old mate Peacock and Chas & Dave was born.

“It’s honesty as far as I’m concerned I thought right we love entertaining, we are good musicians and now I am being honest with myself. It’s got to take off – it’s got to filter through to people and bit by bit it did,” he said.

By the mid-80s the duo were a fixture in the charts and on television – on one occasion appearing on the box seven times in a single day. They were even “too busy” to record the title song to Only Fools and Horses.

The hits dried up in the 1990s. Yet credibility came seeking them out. In 2004 they received a surprising endorsement from then-super-cool Libertines Pete Doherty and Carl Barat. They accompanied the band on tour and were invited to perform at Glastonbury. A new generation found themselves singing along to the Sideboard Song and Ain’t No Pleasing You.

But age is proving no impediment to Chas & Dave, now both in their late 60s. There was a brief pause when Peacock withdrew from work following the death of his wife but they are now well and truly back on the road, having just completed a 60 date sell out tour.

“I used to think when I was younger working with footballers it must be really sad  for a footballer to thank that in his mid-30s  he is coming to the end of his career. I though `sod that’. That’s one thing as a musician as long as you are able to work and you’re fingers are able to be supple you can carry on forever,” said Hodges.

Watch video of Chas and Dave performing Gertcha in 1979:

Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tv Review: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series began tonight with a feature-length special
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee