Deaf School formed in 1976 as an Art Rock Band. The members all students at Liverpool Art School, based in the Hannerman Building, a former ear, nose and throat hospital that treated amongst other ailments hearing problems. Hence the band name Deaf School. The group was lead by Steve Allan (Enrico Cadillac) on vocals; Bette Bright on vocals; Clive Langer on Guitar and Piano; Max Ripple on Keyboards and accordion; Steve Lindsey on bass Piano and Vocals; Timothy Whittaker on Drums; Ian Ritchie on saxaphone; Erick Shark on vocals and Paul Pilnick on guitar, accordion, bass and banjo.
Deaf School are a rich mix of remarkable tunes, intelligent lyrics, sharp arrangements and high end musicianship. All of this delivered with wit, charm and glamour. If this sounds at odds with the many monochrome, inert, self regarding acts working today it is intentional.
Consider Deaf School to be part of the entertainment business as much as the music business and you start to get the picture. This is a mature and elite outfit. Recent audiences have included members of Madness, Glenn Matlock, Holly Johnson, Mark Ellen, Kevin Rowland and Ian Broudie, all of whom understand the relevance of a band whose influence is widely acknowledged.
It is about performance. Breathtaking in pace and scope, you are taken on an emotional rollercoaster ride. You will experience much. You will emerge blinking and grinning with others, all wondering if what they thought just happened really did. You are now part of a cognoscenti. You have a knowledge not given to all. And things are a little better for it. Deafinitely!
The influence Deaf School had on other artists is being increasingly acknowledged. Without Deaf School there would arguably have been no late 70’s Liverpool scene, with no Frankie GTH or Teardrop Explodes, perhaps no Madness and Kevin Rowland admits that Dexy’s were hugely influenced by Deaf School.