Deaf School in concert 1976 – 1978

Deaf School in concert 1976 – 1978
Deaf School were a very influential band, although they are seldom mentioned these days. Holly Johnson said: “They revived Liverpool music for a generation.”, and Paul Du Noyer (founder of Mojo magazine) claimed:: “In the whole history of Liverpool music two bands matter most, one is The Beatles and the other is Deaf School.” Strong praise indeed, and not bad for a band who never had a hit single and existed for only a few years in the late 70s.
Deaf School were quite a large troupe of members with Bette Bright, Enrico Cadillac, and Eric Shark on vocals, Ian Ritchie on woodwind instruments, Max Ripple on keyboards, Clive Langer on guitar, Steve “Average” Lindsey on bass guitar and Tim Whittaker on drums.
Deaf School live were like nothing else at the time. Part art school review, part vaudeville, part rock n roll and doowop, very theatrical, with catchy songs and great musicianship. And remember this was at a time when punk was sweeping through the country. I saw them several times, at Redcar Coatham Bowl, Middlesbrough Town Hall, Newcastle University and Newcastle Poly. I note from the ticket for the Redcar gig, that the support was Ray Phillip’s (ex Budgie) band Woman, who I saw a few times in the 70s. Deaf School always delivered a great show, and it was exactly that, a show. They should have achieved much greater success than they did. I suspect one reason why this never happened was because they couldn’t capture the fun, theatricality and atmosphere of their live show on record. They were essentially a great live band. Every time I saw them the crowd was totally blown away. Deaf School have reformed recently, and have played a few gigs in home town Liverpool, London and further afield. Another one for my list of people to see again.

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