A few weeks ago, some clever city folks opted to spend their Friday night at The Craufurd Arms, in the company of cockney ‘erbert Chas Hodges.
Accompanied only by a drummer and bassist, and with no need for flashy stage extras, Chris ploughed through a veritable feast of Chas & Dave numbers – Ain’t No Pleasing You, Rabbit and Gercha among them.
‘Go on, gel,’ he’d chirp up in-between verses, whenever a lass started finding her groove.
It was a ‘triffic show from a seasoned pro who is as English as the Union Jack and every bit as popular.
Now Chas is back with Dave (who retired a couple of years back, but couldn’t ignore the lure of the live stuff) and back with new album, Gercha! The EMI Years.
Well, when we say new album, we actually mean a new album of old stuff, but blimey this selection is a corker; a triple CD set of cool that features averitable feast of fab from the duo.
In these cash-strapped times, you want more bang for your buck, and you get it with these chaps.
Disc one includes their major label breakthrough, Rockney, and Don’t Give A Monkeys, CD2 hosts the late seventies delivery Live at Abbey Road, except that now you get a bonus seven tracks lifted from their Studio One gig – also in 1979, it features guest musicians Eric Clapton and Albert Lee.
CD3 is a pile of odds & sods gathered and grouped for more aurative pleasure.
But you’ve not had your Chas & Dave fill yet – there’s a DVD too, recorded at the Shepherd Bush Empire.
It’s a tidy package – and with liner notes from Phill Jupitus – from a tasty duo who have made the masses smile with their chirpy deliveries for decades.
And let’s not forget these are clever fellas, with a past of plenty – we mentioned the stint with Jerry Lee Lewis and the Led Zeppelin support, but they’ve also been lauded by The Libertines and sampled by Eminem.
And, as those of us at that Craufurd gig saw, Chas can rock a pair of croc shoes and stripey socks like no-one else!
> Gercha is released on Monday