Chas and Dave are a British institution who seem to have been around forever, well nearly. Prior to forming their hugely successful 'Rockney' duo in 1985, they were successful musicians in the 60s and 70s who played with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis. When their novelty classic Gercha was released it was the beginning of a partnership that has endured for fifty years. The guys are
back on the road touring and promoting their latest album -
That's What Happens. The December leg of their tour will have them supporting Status Quo, another very British band who know how to have fun.
A knees up and sing a long is exactly the vibe you get from their concert, with Chas plonking out the tunes on the old joanna interspersed with relaxed banter and humour. There's no fancy light show, no backdrop, no pretence, just absolute professionalism, the expectation of having a good time and the atmosphere of being in a big pub with all your mates.
The first half was mainly songs from the new album, some really good stuff here too; Railroad Bill, Midmight Special, Lonnie D. The songs mark a return to their Skiffle roots, but as a trio (with Nick Hodges on drums) the live version of these new songs loses some of the feel from the album without a full band. However, it's entertaining and the crowd were appreciative of the new material.
You get a sense that it is the second half that the crowd are really looking forward too where they play the old favourites Rabbit, The Sideboard song, Ain't No Pleasing You and Snooker Loopy – everybody is having a ball!
It was really surprising to see so many younger people at the concert, many of whom must have been toddlers back in the 80s, but I guess it's a result of the Chas and Dave effect. Not may acts can transcend age gaps and cultures so successfully and give their audience such an entertaining evening wherever they perform.