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article imageReview: 'Chas & Dave: Last Orders' Special

By Alexander Baron     Oct 27, 2012 in Entertainment
London - Chas & Dave broke through with a novelty song in 1979, but they'd been around decades before that. Now, in the twilight of a long career, they look back nostalgically with the BBC.
At the moment, most of the music related stories coming out of the BBC have something to do with the ongoing Jimmy Savile scandal. Nothing like that ever touched these two clean living Londoners, who brought an old-fashioned honesty to their particular brand of working class music, known as Rockney - ie rock and Cockney - which is also the name of their label. Although technically neither Chas Hodges nor Dave Peacock are Cockneys (unlike Andy Powell), their association with the East End goes back a long way.
In this one hour programme, both men talk freely about their roots and influences. Chas never really knew his father, who committed suicide the day before his 4th birthday. His widowed mother played the piano professionally or semi-professionally out of necessity, so it was hardly surprising that he too became a musician. What may surprise some is that not only was he in a band with Ritchie Blackmore - later of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore's Night fame - but that this same band, The Outlaws, shared a billing with the Beatles - who were their support.
They met in 1963 when Dave was in a bad called The Rolling Stones - no, not that one - but they didn't get together as an act until the 1970s.
Chas has a simple philosophy of music; if you can't do it in three takes, you probably shouldn't do it at all. After they arrived, their manager had a similar one, don't turn anything down. Chas said that one day they appeared on TV no fewer than seven times.They also appeared on Top Of The Pops, although not apparently with Jimmy Savile. They didn't avoid controversy entirely however as they were asked to alter or drop a word from their smash hit Gertcha. Apparently "cow son" - which may be two words but can pass for one - is an antiquated form of "son of a bitch". Dave said it sounded innocuous to him, but Chas sang it anyway. (Mott The Hoople had a similar problem with a song called The Moon Upstairs, which Ian Hunter solved in a different way).
Dave's wife died 3 years ago, after which he decided he'd had enough of touring, but Chas decided to continue. Last orders? Not for a long time.
In addition to the guys themselves, this tribute includes contributions from Albert Lee and Jools Holland, and a real old timer, Roy Hudd.
More about rockney, chas & dave, chas and dave, chas hodges, dave peacock
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