Wednesday, 14 September 2016

In praise of... Chas and Dave

"Oi mate. Are you a punk?"

Well hardly...This remark was made in a school cricket match where a fellow player noticed that I'd drawn a safety pin onto my teenage arm. It wasn't exactly Johnny Rotten. Don't get me wrong. Some punk records were amazing. I say to you Nervous Wreck by the Radio Stars. What a song. But then again, my sister's boyfriend's brother recorded every Led Zeppelin record for me to prepare for the trip to Knebworth in August 1979.  Was it a crime to like both rock and punk?

And Knebworth was a massive event. Record historians might refuse to admit this but Knebworth, with the presence of Led Zeppelin and perhaps 250,000 fans over two Saturdays, was a massive V sign to punk. And as Chas and Dave came on as a support act, I was quite happy to buy into the theory that these cockney rejects were an outdated embarrassment, not popular with any music fans. But there was a problem with that.

They were absolutely brilliant.

Just the piano and the guitar - and songs about having a knees-up. Chas and Dave were better than Led Zeppelin. I know. Mad, isn't it? OK. By the time Led Zeppelin came on, my 16-year-old body gave up and I slept through 'Dazed and Confused'. That day also started a lifelong love of one of the other support acts, Todd Rundgren. But my best memory of Knebworth is the Chas and Dave set. They talk about it here. And I don't care if it's not fashionable now in 2016. It wasn't in 1979.

Right. Enough of this incessant talking. They were the dog's bollocks.