Deaf School was formed at Liverpool College of Art in 1974. 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 (real name 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. Having been signed to Warners by former Beatles publicist Derk Taylor, their first albums – debut Second Honeymoon (1976) and Don’t Stop The World (1977) built a fanbase but didn’t land a breakthrough hit (their first single – the superb What a Way to End it All was about suicide!)
The band ultimately got left behind when punk came along. They 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 performed sporadically since.
Drummer Tim Whittaker passed away in 1996. Vocalist Eric Shark (real name Thomas John Davis) died in 2010 at the age of 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)