Stone the crows! Chas and Dave are coming back for a right royal knees up

Rockey Cockneys Chas and Dave

Rockey Cockneys Chas and Dave

First published in NewsXtra

Everyone’s favourite rockney Cockney sparrows Chas and Dave are heading Birmingham for one last knees up.

Chas and Dave are back together after Dave left the group in 2009. Which is a blessing, because I’d feel robbed if I turned up to see Chas and Dave and Dave was not Dave, but a bloke pretending to be Dave.

Written off by snooty types as a novelty act Chas and Dave are in fact some of the most accomplished musicians Britain has ever produced.

Before forming the band the pair played with countless all time rock and roll greats with Chas Hodges performing alongside Jerry Lee Lewis and guitar virtuoso Albert Lee.

However, sick of having to sing in an American accent Chas phoned old friend Dave up over a pint and pitched his idea of writing songs in the tradition of the Kinks and singing in their native London tongue.

They recruited Mick Burt on drums and began an ascent up the charts to become household names in the 1980s selling millions of records and at one point appearing on television almost every week.

Their big break was when Gertcha, a song about an out of date word Chas’ dad used to say, was used for a Courage Bitter advert in 1979.

A string of hits followed including the unforgettable Rabbit Rabbit, Snooker Loopy, two FA Cup songs with Tottenham Hotspur and the bittersweet tale of lost love Aint No Pleasing You.

They even managed to bring Eric Clapton back to British screens when he joined them for a jam on their Christmas special in 1982.

The pair continued to tour and release albums throughout the 1990s when they briefly went out of fashion but at the turn of this century musicians began falling over themselves to recognise their importance.

As well as making music look easy and keeping the tradition of music hall alive they helped keep sayings like “gertcha” in the lexicon of theEnglish language and added a few more like “more rabbit than Sainsbury’s”.

Jools Holland, Tori Amos and The Libertines all professed their love for Chas and Dave and all they represent and when Dave’s wife died in 2009 it looked like the end of the road as he retired to paint gypsy caravans.

However, due to the lure of the stage and the success of a recent documentary Last Orders the pair are back in the saddle and embarking on a huge tour in 2013, which could be their last.

Chas and Dave are at Birmingham Town Hall on Friday, April 5 and for tickets phone Box Office 0121 345 0600.

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