‘Gertcha!’ – Chas & Dave (1979)
Punk rock, cockernee style, by the popular knees-up duo
‘Is this the first ever punk single? Ha ha! I think so. We were at EMI around the same time as the Sex Pistols, so who knows? We sang “Wertcha” initially.
It was a phrase we remembered from childhood, something yer dad would say before he slapped you one. It was part of what we called “rockney”: singing rock ’n’ roll about things we understood in our own accents.
By the time we recorded it as “Gertcha!”, we changed one lyric: “When me rock ’n’ roll records wake him up” became “When me punk rock records wake him up.” Then it got used on a beer ad and made us some money. But there was always that London accent that gave it punk energy.’ Chas Hodges