Thursday, September 15, 2016

40 Year Itch: And Cheerio!

Deaf School : What a Way to End It All

"Malcolm McLaren once told us it was just as bad to be too early as too late. "
--Steve Allan, Deaf School

In 1976 Liverpool's Deaf School released its debut album 2nd Honeymoon. Glam pop meets cabaret on this album full of catchy ditties, one of the first I ever taped. It's really quite remarkable that a kid in Sparks, Nevada would wind up listening to such a strange, quirky, eccentric record by a UK band. But it wasn't such a big risk to borrow a record from a library.

And what a record!

 In 2011 The Guardian called Deaf School a "catalyst band", quoting music journalist Paul Du Noyer who wrote : "In the whole history of Liverpool music, two bands matter most: one is the Beatles and the other is Deaf School."

They may not sound like it, but Deaf School revived the Liverpool scene, pacing the way for Echo and the Bunnymen, the Teardrop Explodes, Wah! and a host of 1980 acts including Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

 The original band was open to anyone who wanted to join them on stage. Up to 13 people played on the stages of empty Liverpool clubs. Eventually the band found its sound: Roxy Music and David Bowie meets Cinema Noir.

 Steve Allan, a vocalist whose stage name was Enrico Cadillac, tells The Guardian what happened next:

 "We were soon packing houses in Liverpool, but not getting out of the city. Then the bass player, Steve Lindsay, mentioned an early 70s leftover called the Melody Maker rock and folk contest. We won the bloody thing and were suddenly a big deal. We signed to Warners because their A and R guy, Derek Taylor, had been the Beatles publicist and when he saw us rehearsing in Mathew Street, he cried his eyes out." 

 2nd Honeymoon charted in the UK but the punk revolution swept them away. And yet, the band still plays together every so often, performing in front of crowds the seem to know every word. To my surprise, I would be one of those.


  1. Fascinating story about a band I know nothing about - other than their name. Thanks for the information and video clips.

  2. Thought you were leaving us there for a horrible few seconds when I saw that title!