Chas & Dave (often billed as Chas 'n' Dave) are an English pop rock duo, most notable as creators and performers of a musical style labelled "rockney" (a portmanteau of "rock" and "cockney"), which mixes "pub singalong, music-hall humour, boogie-woogie piano and pre-Beatles rock 'n' roll". For a time, "Rockney" was also the name of their record label, and they achieved several British chart hits, their major breakthrough being "Gertcha" in 1979, which peaked at No. 20 in the UK Singles Chart, and was the first of eight Top 40 hit singles the duo played on. They also had nine best-selling albums. In October 2013 they released That's What Happens, their first studio album in 18 years.
History and formation:
The group consists of Charles Nicholas "Chas" Hodges (piano, vocals, banjo, guitars) and David Victor "Dave" Peacock (bass guitar, vocals, piano, banjo, guitar, ukulele) together with Paul "simmy" Simpson on drums. In 2011, Simmy retired from the band with Chas's son, Nicholas Charles "Nik" Hodges taking over on drums. In the 1970s Chas & Dave were prominent session musicians, playing for a wide range of artists; for instance - the hook used on Eminem's "My Name Is" was taken from a Labi Siffre tune, "I Got The", on which Chas & Dave performed.
The rockney style was from the start intentional, as they felt an alternative to the way British bands copied American accents was needed. Chas has said:
I was singing in an American accent. I thought, 'You're being a fraud, you should sing in your own accent', and that's when I started to work on the idea.
The songs for which they are most known are partly comic, and Chas & Dave are strongly identified with London's blue collar and working class pub sing-song culture. However, their 1982 number two hit, "Ain't No Pleasing You" was a more romantic record, with strings added to the usual piano, drum and bass sound.
Their single "Gertcha" was used as the music behind a notable television commercial for Courage Bitter.
"Rabbit" comes from the Cockney rhyming slang "rabbit and pork" meaning "talk". The song is about a relationship between a man and a woman, in which the man expresses his love for his girlfriend, but complains that she will not stop talking or, "rabbiting". It was also used in a television commercial for Courage Bitter. "Snooker Loopy", a comic song about snooker, was released as a single in May 1986 and entered the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 6.
Chas & Dave were offered the chance to record the theme song for the sitcom Only Fools and Horses but turned it down as they were in Australia at the time due to the success of "Ain't No Pleasing You". However their song "Margate" was used in a feature-length episode of the comedy, entitled "The Jolly Boys Outing".
They also recorded four FA Cup final singles for Tottenham Hotspur including "Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur"/"Ossie's Dream" in 1981 and "Tottenham Tottenham" in 1982. Tottenham Hotspur were victorious in both of these finals. as well as appearing on the 1987 FA Cup Final song Hot Shot Tottenham!.
They opened for Led Zeppelin at the 1979 Knebworth Festival, and Chas Hodges has said that one of his proudest moments was playing the Glastonbury Festival in 2005.
Their work influenced The Libertines, who played their songs at rehearsals.
On 6 October 2008, their autobiography, Chas & Dave - All About Us, written by Hodges, was published in the UK. It is reported that it took him a quarter of a century to write.
It was announced in September 2009 that the pair would no longer be working together as Peacock planned to retire from the band following the death of his wife Sue. However, In June 2010, it was announced that Chas & Dave would reunite for one final tour in 2011. They also played their "Christmas Jamboree" at the IndigO2 on 23 and 24 December 2011 and 8 December 2012. It was announced on 4 October 2012 that they would be the sixth act announced to play Rebellion Festival, as part of their last tour. Their subsequent "Back By Demand" tour of the UK occurred between February and May 2013.
In October 2012 they were subject of the BBC Four documentary Chas & Dave: Last Orders.
In October 2013 they released That's What Happens, their first studio album in 18 years. In July 2014 Hodges appeared in the first episode of Graham Fellows' BBC Radio 4 comedy series John Shuttleworth's Lounge Music. On 19 October 2014 the official website announced the death of Mick Burt, their original drummer until his retirement in 2009.
On 9 May 2015 they performed at VE Day 70: A Party to Remember in Horse Guards Parade, London. In December they took their traditional Christmas show to the Hammersmith Apollo.
Chas and Dave's Knees Up:
In 1983, Chas & Dave presented their own variety show, made by LWT and broadcast on ITV, which was set in an East End pub.
Episode 1: 21 May 1983, Appearing: Eric Burdon, Linda Lewis and Jeff Stevenson,
Episode 2: 4 June 1983, Appearing: Lulu, Rocky Sharpe and the Replays, Bobby Knutt and Roy Jay,
Episode 3: 11 June 1983, Appearing: Mike Berry, The Flying Pickets and Dave Ismay,
Episode 4: 18 June 1983, Appearing: Paul Shane, Captain Sensible and Berni Flint,
Episode 5: 25 June 1983, Appearing: Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Rose-Marie and Jimmy Jones,
Episode 6: 2 July 1983, Appearing: Lonnie Donegan, Diz and The Doormen and Gary Wilmot,
Xmas Knees Up (MCMLXXXII). Channel Five (UK) broadcast this episode that featured a similar setting to the series on Christmas Day 2014 and 2015. Appearing were Jimmy Cricket, Eric Clapton and Jim Davidson among others.