Deaf school 200

Deaf School are an English art rock/new wave band, formed in Liverpool in 1973. Between 1976 and 1978 they recorded three albums for the Warner Brothers label, in an art rock style that had its roots in cabaret, moving towards a harder punk rock sound. The band split in 1978 but have since been recognized as an important influence on many British musicians. According to Frankie Goes To Hollywood singer Holly Johnson: "They revived Liverpool music for a generation."[1] The journalist, author and founder of Mojo, Paul Du Noyer, went further: "In the whole history of Liverpool music two bands matter most, one is The Beatles and the other is Deaf School."[2]

Nearly all its members went on to enjoy successful careers afterwards, notably guitarist Clive Langer, who would produce Madness and Dexys Midnight Runners (two non-Liverpool acts who cite Deaf School as an influence) and also Morrissey. He would also co-write (with Elvis Costello) the song "Shipbuilding". … Singer Bette Bright led her own band The Illuminations (and married the lead singer of Madness, Suggs). … Bassist Steve Lindsey formed The Planets, scoring a Top Of The Pops appearance with his song "Lines".[3] Enrico Cadillac Jnr (real name Steve Allen) joined Ian Broudie (former member of Big In Japan) to form the Original Mirrors who released two albums. … Eric Shark went on to work with Geoff Davies and set up Probe Plus, responsible for Half Man Half Biscuit amongst others.

(Read more at Wikipedia.)

Links to Peel

Reflecting his keen interest in Liverpool music, Peel was quick to lend radio support to Deaf School, who emerged from Liverpool College of Art to secure a major label record deal through a Melody Maker talent contest in 1975, during a lean period for music from the city in the post-Beatles era.[1] The band would record three Peel sessions, coinciding with the release of their three albums. In November 1976, the John Peel roadshow appeared with Deaf School at a gig in Bath.[4] [5]

Despite their relative lack of commercial success,[6] Deaf School are seen as central to the emergence of a whole generation of Liverpool bands played heavily by the DJ from the late 1970s, as outlined in the Peel-narrated TV documentary Rock Family Trees: The New Merseybeat
, with Clive Langer and Steve Lindsey both also spending time in a second seminal local "catalyst" outfit, Big In Japan. As shown in the programme, the original Pete Frame family tree featured the following quote (from Ian Broudie, Lightning Seeds, etc):

"There was nothing happening in Liverpool before Deaf School and Eric's [club] ... between them they inspired a generation of musical talent." (See video, 1.14.)

Peel was also a huge fan of the song 'Shipbuilding', co-written by Langer and Elvis Costello, picking his preferred version for the 1982 Peelenium, performed by Robert Wyatt.

As well as producing Costello, Wyatt, Dexys Midnight Runners, Madness, Morrissey and Betty Bright, Langer's long career in the studio also took in work with many other Peel session artists, often with a Liverpool connection, including Belle Stars, China Crisis, Ian McCulloch, Primal Scream, Strawberry Switchblade, Teardrop Explodes, and Yachts.[7]

In 2009, the Deaf School track 'What A Way To End It All' appeared on the Peel tribute box set Kats Karavan - The History Of John Peel On The Radio.

Festive Fifty Entries


Deaf School - Peel Session 1976

Deaf School - Peel Session 1976

Three sessions. All tracks released on What A Way To End It All (The Anthology), 2xCD, Castle, 2003. Steve Allen also one session with Original Mirrors (1980), Tim Whittaker one with Ellery Bop (1982).

1. Recorded 1976-08-19. First broadcast 07 September 1976. Repeated 03 November 1976, 30 December 1976.

  • What A Way To End It All / Where's The Weekend? / Knock Knock Knocking / Final Act

2. Recorded 1977-03-29. First broadcast 15 April 1977.

  • Boy's World / Hypertension / What A Jerk / Capaldi's Cafe

3. Recorded 1978-01-11. First broadcast 08 February 1978.

  • Working Girls / All Queued Up / English Boys / Ronny Zamora

Other Shows Played

Bette Bright And The Illuminations
Clive Langer & The Boxes

See Also

External Links


  1. They were signed for Warner Brothers by Liverpudlian Derek Taylor, A&R man for the company, former Beatles publicist and Disc columnist, who Peel knew - and sometimes mentioned in his shows - in the early 1970s.
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