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Chas and Dave - O2 Academy, Oxford, 4/12/2016

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 8 / 2 / 2017

Chas and Dave - O2 Academy, Oxford, 4/12/2016


Nick Dent-Robinson watches the still undervalued Chas and Dave play an unglamorous but solid set at the O2 Academy in Oxford

Incredibly, it is now 40 years since Chas and Dave first performed professionally as a duo. In some of the snootier corners of the music business there are still a few ill-informed people who insist on seeing Chas and Dave as a mere novelty act. But there's a reason this pair have out-lasted many “high cred” rock bands...they are both superb musicians, having been long acknowledged as two of the best session players anywhere. They have performed with rock royalty and for years quietly contributed songs and sounds to some of the top-selling bands in the UK and US. Just one example is the hook they provided for Eminem's 'My Name Is' - a riff borrowed from a Labi Siffre track, on which both performed. Chas and Dave's original rockney style was a very deliberate response to what the pair saw as the fraud of UK bands singing in false American accents. Chas and Dave wanted to be true to their roots....and the fans have loved them ever since. The Oxford 02 Academy show attracted a very diverse audience. There were parents with young teen children, grandparents with younger grandchildren, students, rowdy lads from the town, well-refreshed 30 and 40-somethings and a smattering of pensioners, too. The hits came think and fast from 'Gerthcha!' to 'Margate' through 'London Girls' to 'Rabbit' and, finally, the traditional final singalong to 'Ain't No Pleasing You'. There was no real razzmatazz, though and no stage set or fancy lights plus very little banter. But what there was in abundance was sheer well-honed musicianship with no gimmicks, no sound-effects just great vocal dexterity and the kind of musical linkage between Chas and Dave that only happens when two musicians have an almost telepathic, instinctive connection. The two are the ultimate professionals. They could have played the gig blindfold but nothing they do ever sounds tired....just fresh and alive. Clearly both love every moment of their performance - and the audience just senses this and responds accordingly. All in all this was a great night – and really memorable for many of those lucky enough to have been able to get a seat.

Also at O2 Academy, Oxford

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Chas and Dave - O2 Academy, Oxford, 4/12/2016

Chas and Dave - O2 Academy, Oxford, 4/12/2016

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