Deaf School, formed at Liverpool Art College in 1974, were a chaotic bunch of art-school weirdos – their initial ad hoc line-up numbered up to 20 people and their DIY attitude predated punk by at least two years.
Led by the charismatic Enrico Cadillac Jnr (aka Steve Allen), the band provided a Scouse take on art-rock camp, taking their musical direction from acts such as Roxy Music.
The group entered the 1976 Melody Maker Talent Contest “for a lark” and scooped up first place, a following and a record contract.
The band never capitalised on their early promise. Despite releasing a number of well-received albums – particularly Second Honeymoon (1976) and Don’t Stop The World (1977) – they got left behind when punk came along.
The band became tainted by the art-school aesthetic, too fey and camp for a music world in the mood for playing something harsh and nasty. But they had played their part and those that followed would always acknowledge their debt to the band.
By the time Deaf School called it a day in 1978, with members Bette Bright, Clive Langer and Enrico Cadillac all going on to make an impact elsewhere, the musical landscape in Liverpool had begun to change.
In 1988 almost all former Deaf School members reunited for live dates, with one of their Liverpool performances released as a live album, 2nd Coming. They reunited again in May 2006 and have continued to perform live sporadically since.
Drummer Tim Whittaker passed away in 1996. Vocalist Eric Shark (real name Thomas John Davis) died in 2010, aged 60.
Enrico Cadillac Jr (Steve Allen)
Bette Bright (Anne Martin)
Eric Shark (Thomas Davis)
Cliff Hanger (Clive Langer)
Steve Average (Steve Lindsey)
Rev. Max Ripple (John Wood)