STAR INTERVIEW: Rockney duo come round ‘ere

Chas & Dave bring their new tour On The Road to Northamptonshire NNL-150414-134211001
Chas & Dave bring their new tour On The Road to Northamptonshire NNL-150414-134211001

While many legendary musicians who return to stardom in their later years speak of how their experience and wisdom in music gives them a new appreciation for touring, Chas Hodges says it is having the foresight to sign the tour bus up to the AA that makes the biggest difference nowadays.

One half of the 1970s’ ‘rockney’ and skiffle duo Chas ‘n’ Dave, he said the worst part about doing music tours back then was the “rusty old tour van that kept breaking down or 
icing over”.

The pair have now upgraded to a Mercedes for their latest tour, aptly called On The Road, which will be visiting the Lighthouse Theatre in Kettering this Saturday (April 18).

Chas – full name Charles Nicholas Hodges – said: “We’ve always been making music since we both started in 1959.

“Dave and I met in the back of a car when a friend gave me a lift home, and straight away we found we had an almost identical taste in music, but we didn’t actually start making any together until about 10 years later.”

Together, he and Dave – aka David Victor Peacock – created the ‘rockney’ style – quirky cockney-rhyming slang lyrics set to rock music – which propelled them through the charts in the late 1970s.

“We were both into older acts, like the composer and comedian Harry Champion and Jerry Lee Lewis,” said Chas.

“We were never comedians ourselves, but we did do a few tongue-in-cheek records.”

Writers of household tracks such as Gertcha and The Sideboard Song, he promised this weekend’s show would include their classic hits as well as some more recent music.

It follows their latest album, That’s What Happens, recorded at the famous Beatles Room at Abbey Road studios.

The grandfather-of-two said: “We just got our special guests, including Jools Holland and Hugh Laurie, down there for a week and had a good time until we came away with an album we were happy with.”

Commenting more on the tour, he said: “It’s even more exciting now than it was at the beginning.

“We start the show in the same way – without preparing and just grabbing a song out of the air – and then do some new stuff. When I go to see an artist, I want to hear the hits I love them for, but then be surprised with something new.

“The best compliment is that there are still kids and young people in the audience, because they never lie.

“This has been the best year ever and we are going from strength to strength.”

For more information about the show, call The Lighthouse Theatre on 01536 414141.