Sunday, 7 December 2008

10. Now You're Stalking...

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh lanugage and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

...I think Chas'n'Dave are stalking me.

Maybe you don't know who Chas'n'Dave are? They're a duo (more properly a trio, they've got an unnamed drummer) who's height of 'fame' was in the 1980's, with a musical style they pioneered as a cross between rock'n'roll, boogie-woogie and Cockney. They call it Rockney. Here, look at their cheeky-chappie faces.

Now, I'm aware that they look cheesy as fuck, and the description IS cheesy as fuck, but the galling thing is, they're actually pretty fucking good at what they do.
Now the back story...

During the 1980's, my family did a lot of family trips to Scotland and various holidays by car, plus visiting my grandparents at the weekends. As a result, with the parents in the front and in charge of the tape deck, the barrage of crap we had to listen to was truly astounding (not all of it, but SOME). Part of that was Chas'n'Dave (which in fairness, we used to ask for). As I said, they were moderately successful in the 80's, with frequent TV appearances, songs in the hit parade, and the likes of The Two Ronnies and Russ Abbot taking the piss out of them. One of their bigger 'hits' was a song called '(Down to) Margate', which was a ditty about the Cockney tradition of going off down to Margate (surprisingly) for a day-trip during the summer.

This song took on more 'meaning' when we actually WENT to Margate one year, and got more and more poignant with each subsequent holiday. So, as you can imagine, by the time we MOVED there it was practically a fucking anthem. Chaster and David (for 'tis their names) have lately become something of a subject of affectionate ridicule, not least between my sister and I, who keep sourcing their bargain-basement CDs and Cassettes for silly birthday presents etc (Trip to the Isle of Wight last year, full CD on in the car, fucking ace). So while I freely take the piss out of my Cockney brethren, it's done rather lovingly. I'd still let them in my house. OR WOULD I?

This tale gathers pace a couple of years ago when the eponymous duo were due to play the Winter Gardens in Margate (where else?). We toyed with the idea of going, but frankly, there are too many people at their shows who take them a little too seriously, and would mistake our laughter for cruel mockery. So we passed on that. Then a couple of months ago, my sister asked me if I wanted to come and visit Torquay (where she lives), as Chassington and Davmansworth were playing there. Again, had I been visiting anyway, I may have been up for a laugh, but I didn't really want to make the trip just for that one gig. So we passed on the idea.Two weeks ago (July 26, I'm not fucking making this up), I took our lass down to Bournemouth for a short weekend away. We arrived on Saturday lunchtime and we were going again on Sunday afternoon, so we only had one night there. It was a beautiful day, so we were strolling along the seafront (as one does), and took a walk down the pier. There's a theatre at the end which puts on typical British seaside shows (variety shows etc). Then I clock the poster outside the door. Chas & Dave - Sat 26th July - 8:00pm I fucking kid you not...

Anyway, it was like £17 each for the tickets so we decided to pass as we wanted to see a bit of the town that night, have a few jars, y'know. We had a bit of a laugh over it, but gave it no more thought. No harm done.

Then, not three days later, we get the 'local' What's-On/community/articles-I'll-never-read magazine through the door, the Didcot Dynamo (great eh?). Our lass is flicking through it and sees an ad for CHAS'n'DAVE. At the fucking Didcot Civic Hall. On February 14th 2009, Valentine's day!

If this isn't Karma trying to get me and our lass to one of their gigs, I don't know what fucking is. You've got to understand that the Cockney sparrers mainly play the seaside theatre circuit, and larger towns only.

They say that in the England, you're never more than 72 miles from the sea. Didcot is that place. Oxfordshire is the MOST inland point in England. And Didcot is NOT a big town. Had they played Oxford or Reading, I could understand that (they are playing Reading - but not the Festival :p ), but Didcot. And not even the spanky new Arts Centre they're currenly finishing... no, the shitty Civic Hall! Fate is pushing, pushing, PUSHING these two East-end virtuosos coser and closer to me in a bid for me to see them perform live. And the stupid thing is, I'll probably pass on it.

What more do they have to do? Turn up at my fucking door with an accordion and a banjo? (although that WOULD be great) I'm genuinely perplexed by this turn of events. I've long believed in karma, fate and causality; I just thought it would push me towards more monumental things in life - a cure for cancer, helping the needy, meting out divine justice etc... instead, God is telling me that I need to experience these two musical behemoths in person... I'll think about it.

They've got their beer in the sideboard here, let mother sort if out if he comes round here...

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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