Who are Deaf School? It’s strange that we still need to ask. Deaf School are an unclassifiable collective, a band apart who are a genre unto themselves. They formed at Liverpool art college over 40 years ago and won disciples from Madness and Dexys to the KLF and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Among their most ardent supporters is the co-creator of Peppa Pig.
The music that Deaf School make is both kaleidoscopic and wildly entertaining. It’s a rock’n’roll cabaret with punk and pop art in its bloodstream. If you sat down and made them up you’d awake the next day and decide it was the weirdest dream you’d ever had. But also, perhaps, the nicest.
In those four decades and more Deaf School have been the best-kept secret in British pop. (They’re not a secret everywhere, though: this is the band the term “big in Japan” was originally coined for.) They have recorded sporadically since 1976, and are now releasing their first full-length album of all-new material since 1978. It’s called “Let’s Do This Again Next Week…”
Brace yourself for an addictive cocktail of exotic fantasies, brutal guitar noise, John Betjeman reveries and crisp melodic freshness. Their two lead singers, Bette Bright and Enrico Cadillac Jnr (all of Deaf School’s members seem semi-fictitious) continue the stage romance that has enchanted fans from Tokyo to Camden Town.
Before this year is over Deaf School are playing some more sell-out shows that will leave the audience wishing they really could do this again next week. And every week after that. As those fans will agree, Deaf School never knew when they were beaten – and have thus proved indestructible.