This Chas & Dave article was written by Steven Loftin, a GIGsoup contributor
There are certain things that are synonymous with Christmas. Large dinners, family fights, alcohol and of course the dreaded/coveted Christmas songs, depending on your view of the holiday season. There are the obvious classics, I don’t need to name them, you know them by now and if you don’t, where have you been?
One name that doesn’t often come up is Chas & Dave. That’s right, the cockney duo who gave us such great hits as ‘Run Rabbit Run’ and ‘Gertcha’ have actually, to some surprise released a plethora of christmas albums. Ranging from ‘Chas & Dave’s Christmas Jamboree Bag’ to ‘Chas & Dave’s Christmas Carol Album’, and not to mention the number of Christmas compilations stemming from these, with titles such as ‘Cockney Christmas With Chas & Dave’ and ‘A Christmas Knee’s Up With Chas & Dave’. The trouble with these albums/compilations is it’s essentially every carol ever and every Chas & Dave song ever. No Christmas magical touch or attempt at number 1 original. You’ve got to hand it to them, they know how to milk it.
For the sake of trying to cover as much of this massive output (Cockney Christmas is 58 tracks over two discs), we’re going to hone in on what they’ve considered to be the best selection, worthy enough to go on 2013’s ‘Chas & Dave’s Greatest Christmas’. The covering on this record is essentially traditional carols, such as ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Little Town of Bethlehem’, that have that classic cockney twang and twist. It’s impossible to not feel the Christmas cheer, even if it’s reminiscent of the East End rather than your preferred Sainsbury’s ideal. They make sure to bring back as many carols as possible, including ‘Coventry Carol’, a 16th Century carol which used be sang traditionally, you guessed it, in Coventry.
The selection is definitely solid, there are classics everyone can enjoy, perhaps even sing along to with vast amounts of ale, there are others some may not know but there’s no harm in enjoying them while suffering from festivities or paying respects to the birthday boy during the season of good cheer. Twelve songs in 30 minutes is definitely easily digested and of no harm to anyone.
Chas & Dave are, for a better word, here. They always will be, they’re a part of the British system as much as Shepherds Pie and football. Listening to ‘Greatest Christmas’ on Christmas Eve will cement them into our culture, either that or make you feel 40 years older than you need to. You could even pop on 2015’s ‘Christmas Jamboree Bag’ and listen to the same tracks they released 30 years ago, but with the added thought that, just like the glutinous dinner you just inhaled, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.