[Slowhand] Chas & Dave

John Mills turbineltd at btconnect.com
Mon Oct 20 01:29:27 EDT 2008


Interview: Chas & Dave
Friday, October 17, 2008, 07:30

THOUGH it has been their bread 'n' butter since the late-seventies, Chas &
Dave hate the idea that they're novelty cockneys.
"Some of the public thought it was a couple of drunken blokes that got lucky
in a pub," says Chas Hodges of early reaction to their success with hits
like Rabbit, Margate and Gertcha.
"Dave really gets the hump but I know what I can do. It don't bother me.
"In the early days musicians around us, like Eric Clapton and Albert Lee and
Jerry Lee Lewis, they always saw what we were up to."
That's right, there was life before Chas & Dave; both Hodges and Peacock
were part of the British rock and blues boom of the Sixties.
With a band called The Outlaws Hodges toured Britain and the US with Jerry
Lee Lewis.
"That's when I really started learning to play," he says.
"I saw him as a kid in 1958. I thought I gotta learn to play piano. He
showed me a few things. He was great. He's always been great to me. He's
paid me some great compliments."
He was also a member of Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers.
"We used to play the old Nottingham Boat (Club). All the bands did it. It
was great."
But it was with Heads Hands And Feet that Hodges hit on the idea for Chas &
"We were touring America and I was singing in an American accent. I felt a
bit of a fraud so I started singing in my own accent. I got in touch with
Dave when I came back. This was 1972, and told him my idea."
He adds: "Record companies said you ain't going to sell no records with this
London accent. They couldn't make it out."
It worked so well they ended up with their own TV show and supported Eric
Clapton on tour.
"We used to get Albert Lee on our set at the end to do a couple of rock 'n'
roll things. Two or three days in to the tour Eric said 'what's the matter
with me? I want to come on an' all'. So him and Albert used to come on at
the end of our set."
The same year they also opened for Led Zeppelin at Knebworth.

>From 1979 to 1986 Chas & Dave had half a dozen hits: Gertcha, The Sideboard

Song, Rabbit, Stars Over 45, Snooker Loopy and Ain't No Pleasing You, their
biggest success, reaching No.2 in the UK chart. They were also behind three
hits for the Tottenham team.
A support slot with The Libertines - Pete Doherty and Carl Barat were fans -
reignited their appeal but these days they're playing fewer gigs as Chas &
"I shall be doing clubs with The Chas Hodges Band. I've just finished my own
It's a DIY job. He wrote all the songs and played all the instruments.
He's also written the Chas & Dave story, All About Us.
So what's Dave been up to: is he bone idle or what?
"Yeah," he laughs.
"He packed up his involvement in writing about four years ago. But he's got
other interests. He's got some horses that he likes driving. He still wants
to gig but not as much as I do. The older I've got the more I've got in to
Not that either of them have to bother.
"We don't have to work if we don't want to," he says.
Which is why they're not in it for the money, turning down I'm A
Celebrity... or "that jungle thing" as he calls it.
"(My manager) said: 'you get like fifty grand straight away!' We said 'well
we (effing) don't want to do it. (Bobbins) to that. I write songs.
"If someone comes along with loads of money I ain't bothered. I don't want
loads of money. I'm a musician."

Chas & Dave play The Maze on Thursday, October 23.

Simon Wilson

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