Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Bow Bell Blues

We all from time to time re evaluate the prejudices, big or small, that we carry around with us as cumbersome baggage, an example of a smaller prejudice that I had being carrying around for years was Chas & Dave, who at the end of the day I gave a second hearing to and what do you know, they're actually quite good, after all they did go down a storm at Glastonbury in 2005.
Part of the reason why I disliked them so much was that as a teenager I had the good luck of getting the Saturday job at my local record shop that was in Barkingside High Street, at the time it went under the name of Roylance and was owned by a charmingly eccentric old man called Reggie Roylance, as he was well passed official retirement age he finally sold up. His shop was picked up by a mini-chain going by the name of the Record Center. The new owner Ron Self, seemed to model himself on George Cole's Minder character though in reality he often made me think more of old man Steptoe! Ron, in general left us alone to run the shop as we saw fit, and did we have a ball! He liked to turn up Saturday afternoon to watch the money rolling in. If it was a good Saturday around closing time he would invite us to join him for a whisky coke, this would as often as not be soundtracked by one of his favorite records, I guess it goes without saying that on of these was Chas & Dave, God how much we suffered for our whisky coke back in the seventies! I guess the other reasons for my disliking of them is that a) they were so stereotyped East End, and that it was to close to home for comfort and b) lets be honest back when I was a lad they were about as cool as the sun and us Punk / Indie kids thought we were the dogs diner.
My re - appraisal of the band has started with listening to 'Rockney', 1977, and 'Don't Give A Monkeys', 1979. While both albums have their merits the second does get a little bit carried away with it's knees up attitude though it does contain the hits 'Gertcha' and 'Rabbit' that was used in a beer commercial. It is 'Rockney' that has held my attention and given me the most pleasure as it contains songwriting, that dare I say It, is in the same caliber as the Kinks and Squeeze to name just two. Their matter of fact was of story telling about life, their life, in London, which when you think about it is a lot more honest that singing about route 66 or Kansas City! 'Strummin' is a tale about how they started playing music that is reminiscent of 'Razzle In My Pocket' by Ian Dury another Cockney poet. Personal favorite is 'Edmonton Green', close your eyes while listening to it and see if you agree that it comes over as Blueberry Hill by way of Primrose Hill after a detour down New Orleans all served up with a healthy portion of jellied eels.
Do yourself a favour and give them a try, you might actually like them! In case you are worried about credibility, bare in mind that the duo are seasoned session musicians, and as such played guitar and bass on 'I Got The' by Labi Siffre which was in turn sampled by Eminem on 'My Name Is'.

As yours was the first blogs I visited, I feel that you may have been
responsible for this...if yer bored or have a minute to spare check this out

Keep On Blogging in The Free world.
links all fucked up mate and I was soooo looking forward to some Chaz n Dave :-(
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