Saturday, March 19, 2011

If Chas & Dave didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent them

So, yesterday morning at approximately 7 a.m. the FoldsFive age counter ticked over from 39 to 40. My hips remained intact, as did my eyesight and back. The number of grey hairs hadn't increased from the previous mornings count by any more than the usual, and upon a cursory glance at the Milletts catalogue, I still found no desperate longing for a pair of beige slacks and a tartan blanket to cover my knees. All was still well with the world.

The evenings festivities could have potentially increased the speed of  my rapid descent in middle-agedness, but luckily there were members of the crowd at the Chas and Dave gig from their final ever tour at the Bedworth Civic Hall that were younger than myself. And some of them weren't even in wheelchairs, forced to go against their will.

The tickets were an excellent birthday present from my awesome Dad, and he, Tara, Fran, Tom, James and myself found ourselves about to see the Masters of Rockney themselves at 7:30 yesterday evening (after a quick pint of John Smiths).  Even the fact that our seats (Row C, Front Stalls, seats 1-6, if you're interested) didn't actually exist couldn't threaten our enjoyment of the evening. We were told by one of the doormen that the seating plans had all changed after the bookings had been made, so just to sit wherever we could.  Annoying, but at least we were all sitting vaguely together and right near the front.

We were warned by Charles Nicholas Hodges (better known as "Chas &") that they wouldn't be hitting their greatest hits until the second half - the first half was a typical setlist from when they were playing pubs and clubs back in the 1970s - other than sneaking in "Gertcha".

Now I can't rave about the musicianship of these guys enough.  David Victor Peacock (better known as "& Dave") is a bloody excellent bass guitarist, but the keyboard skills of Chas are absolutely phenomenal.  I know they've been touring and playing together forever so they've had years of practice, but they both make it look absolutely effortless.  I must admit I don't know much of Chas & Dave beyond the odd best-of and Snooker Loopy, but there was the odd song from the first half that I recognised - a Jerry Lee Lewis cover, for instance.

Toilet break and sharp half of John Smiths and it was back for the second half - to find that our front row seats had now been taken by their actual occupants who had only decided to turn up for the second half.  And they were a bunch of snotty arrogant cows, at that.  Now the front row was full and the bewildered and flustered doorman told us to find seats wherever and gave us the managers details so we could sort it out on Monday - as the second half was about to start.  Hence we found ourselves bunged right at the back - the only place we could sit together - and slightly miffed.  Still, nothing that can't get sorted out next week.

Chas & Dave (ably assisted by the son of Chas, Nick, on drums - Because of their song "Give it some stick, Mick" it's a legal requirement that any drummer in Chas & Dave has to have a name that rhymes with that) rocked their way through all their classics in the second half - Gertcha, Rabbit, and their all time classic "The fire alarm has been activated.  Please vacate the Civic Hall by the nearest fire exit".

"I don't fink they're joking" said Chas, but at least the Civic Hall had the decency to wait until the end of a song before raising the fire alarm.  So, off we trudged outside waiting for the Fire Brigade to arrive.

Quarter of an hour later (after the arrival of a big shiny red fire engine) saw us back inside as Chas & Dave launched into the rest of their set.  Down to Margate, Snooker Loopy (!), The Sideboard Song (got my beer in the sideboard here), Poor Old Mr. Woogie, Wallop, Thats What I like and London Girls amongst many others.  And closing with the (and I genuinely mean this) fantastic Ain't no pleasin' you.  And then for good measure, an encore of The Sideboard Song, even though they'd only played it about ten minutes before..!

Overall,  a great night.  Bedworth Civic Hall is an odd venue for them (regardless of the fact that you can book seats that don't actually exist) as it's all seating and some of their stuff demands to be danced to, but they were true showmen from start to finish.

Afterwards Tara queued to meet with them but sadly Chas had nipped off to the loo and didn't return so she didn't manage to get a photograph with her favourite, but at least Dave & Nick were kind enough to pose with her and sign her ticket.

Hurrah for Charles & David!  Long may copious amounts of alcohol remain firmly ensconced in their sideboard and their mother be able to sort out any incidents that may arise from any unwelcome visitors to their abode!

1 comment:

  1. Fran forced me to stay behind for photos after both a Russell Howard show and a Richard Herring show.
    RH (oops, they're both RH now I've previewed this comment, so Richard Herring) told me I looked like Peter Sutcliffe so I told him he could "fuck right off".
    How we laughed...


I love comments. Love 'em. However, abusive or spam or Anonymous ones may well be sent straight to the bin. Thems the rules.