'Deaf School'
Saturday 22nd Sept. 2007.

11-13 Hotham Street Liverpool L3 5UF £15.00.

Box Office: 0844 477 2000 12pm - 5pm Monday to Saturday
No booking fee for cash transactions
Fri. 24 August 2007

Deaf School reopened the Picket at the new venue on 27/05/06


Paul Du Noyer

"In the whole history of Liverpool music, two bands matter most - one is The Beatles and the other is Deaf School. If that seems like a sweeping statement then consider this - after the pop revolution of the 1960s led byte Beatles and other Merseyside groups, it looked as if the city's music scene had dried up forever. But in 1975 there came a motley band of Liverpool art students called Deaf School. And they were the catalyst for the most dramatic revival since Lazarus. Their impact on the city is with us to this day.

Deaf School were an inspired, chaotic live act who never numbered less than eight and sometimes well into double figures. They played a wild amalgam of cabaret and pop; they were camp and theatrical but rocked like crazy too. They were supreme entertainers. They were signed to Warners by The Beatles' droll confidante Derek Taylor and between 1976 and 78 made three albums, each to be cherished. They galvanised our moribund local live scene; they were the figureheads of the newly opened Eric's Club and set the template for a generation of younger Liverpool acts, from Echo & The Bunnymen to Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

So why aren't Deaf School better known? They were a band in the right place (Liverpool) but the wrong time - on the cusp of punk rock. Deaf School's wit and verve were, in hindsight, a bridge between glam rock and new wave, but in between came the year of the Sex Pistols and The Clash and Deaf School simply didn't fit. Liverpool loved them always - they were a bridge, as well, between the arty collegiate crowd and down-to-earth Scousers. Everyone recognised a good time when they saw it and Deaf School were exactly that. But the message got lost in its translation to the wider world. Much of the band's talent was not lost however. Guitarist and chief songwriter Clive Langer found fame producing acts including Madness (who were in Deaf School's London fan contingent), Dexys Midnight Runners, Morrissey and Elvis Costello (with whom he wrote the spellbinding song "Shipbuilding"). Male lead vocalist Enrico Cadillac, alias Steve Allen, formed The Original Mirrors with Ian Broudie before a new career as a top record executive; bassist Steve Lindsay became The Planets; female lead vocalist Bette Bright, alias Ann Martin, made some brilliant solo records before marrying Madness's lead singer. (It's sometimes said she became "Mrs Suggs" but we prefer to think of Suggs as "Mr Bette Bright".)

A few reunion shows since their glory days have seen Deaf School delight diehards and converts alike with the power-pop punch of "Hi Jo Hi", "What A Way To End It All" and a dozen other classic souvenirs of that brief, fabled career. The re-born Picket, happily restored to the heart of a resurgent city, is the perfect place to witness Deaf School together once more - both band and venue are living symbols of Liverpool's musical resilience".

Former Beatles, Beach Boys and Byrds publicist Derek Taylor.

"I won't forget Deaf School. They were a great group: we knew that, you knew that, Liverpool knew that. So I'd be going 'Deaf School! 'Deaf School! Listen to Deaf School!' Like the Byrds, these are not people who will ever be forgotten. They may not become rich and they may not become famous. But remember you heard it here first!"

Ian Broudie, Lightning Seeds.

"There was nothing happening in Liverpool before Deaf School…".

Suggs, Madness.

I was so taken by Deaf School that I married the singer. Clive Langer, their guitarist went onto produce all of Madness' records".

More information about Deaf School at www.deafschool.co.uk




The Picket Ltd,
20 Oakbank Road,
Liverpool, L18 1HS.
Email philiphayesmusic@hotmail.co.uk

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