Ahead of a brace of Liverpool dates, Getintothis’ Banjo catches up with Deaf School to find out about wandering city backstreets, laughing with Doddy and how to make the perfect pasta sauce
Art pop pioneers Deaf School have often been cited as one of Liverpool’s most influential bands.
Bursting forth in a riot of kitsch, cabaret and catchy songs, the only thing Deaf School got wrong was timing. Their assault on the nation’s consciousness was cut short by the onrush on punk in the late 70s, a movement that was known for instigating a cultural year zero, where almost everything that went before was consigned to the dustbin.
However, in Liverpool, Deaf School became something of a catalyst. Playing Eric’s on its opening night, Deaf School were well placed to pass on the torch to the new generation coming through. Their ties to the Liverpool punk and post punk scene were deep and essential. Big in Japan were the first to pick up the baton and run with it, but Deaf School’s influence on the likes of Pete Burns, Julian Cope and Pete Wylie was instant.
Deaf School have never been forgotten, such was the love their fans held for them. And so they have not been allowed to simply fade into the background. Tours, one off gigs and even new recordings have appeared in recent years and more dates have been added at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre, on September 21/22, with tickets going on sale in May.
Getintothis caught up with Deaf School’s suave frontman, Enrico Cadillac Jr, to find out what he’s up to in our latest 13 Questions interview.
1. Where are you and what are you doing?
‘At home in the old Spratts Dog Biscuit factory in Bow, East London – just chilling really after our mini tour, 2 great gigs in Liverpool, brilliant crowd both nights, the Thursday show was off the scale, lot of fun was had. So yeah having a lazy Sunday.’
2. How is that working out?
‘Perfect, it’s a rainy Sunday so a good roast day indoors with an old movie maybe.‘
3. What is the last gig you went to?
‘Last night, Big & The Fat at a packed out Lock Tavern Camden Town, great gig.’
4. Recommend one band or album that you think we should check out
‘Big & The Fat right now, their double A side single Fruit/Crack Crack has just been added to the BBC Introducing playlist. Already played on BBC Radio London and a very groovy trippy krautrock thing going on, powerful live. I told them they must get up to the Pool, they really put a stint in live so would be appreciated by the Scouse crowd.’
5. What is the worst gig you’ve ever done?
‘Some very undersubscribed local ‘festival’ in awful weather a few years ago, onstage in the afternoon which we don’t like at all and set up in a sodden field playing to 3 people and a dog, it was all over when the dog strolled off, very deflating. I won’t mention the name of it.’
6. What is your favourite meal?
‘Fave meal hmmm, I guess the one thing I couldn’t do without for too long is a great curry, I need spice and can really crave that, you got me thinking about a rainy day home delivery now.’
7. Can you cook?
‘Yep, always been the main cook in our house, my wife hates the kitchen which works out fine, my son has picked up the baton too, he’s better than me now.’
8. Tell us a secret
‘If you’re making a tomato based pasta sauce try adding some freshly chopped celery with the onions followed by the garlic (plenty of it for me) and if you can’t get great fresh toms open a couple of tins of Italian plum toms, a touch of apple cider vinegar brings out their flavour.’
9. What’s the best night out you’ve ever had?
‘Best night outs for me have normally involved the Deaf School gang, one of the best night outs ever has to be the coach party back to the Pool after we won the Melody Maker rock contest at the Roundhouse in London, it was so unexpected it was a joyous riot of a ‘charra’ outing all the way! “No sleep tonight!”‘
10. When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
‘Think it was watching An Audience With Ken Dodd again recently with my mother, she loves him and yeah he was hilarious. He marmalised me! God bless Ken’
11. What is your favourite view?
‘Wow tough one, so many. Westmorland dales, the Lakes at the Langdale valley, raw countryside but could also be for me the view across the Paris rooftops from Montmartre where I lived for a few years. I’m an urban flaneur, I like aimless wandering in city backstreets away from the madding crowd, that’s how you discover the real city, Paris, London, Liverpool, avoid the tour bus at all costs.’
12. Where did you last go on holiday?
‘I don’t really do holidays as such, not for some time anyway, but our last family holiday was driving from Miami to The Keys in a Mustang soft top with nothing booked so just stopped where we fancied, motels and hotels, Key Largo was a must stay for me and then down to spend a few days at Key West with Hemingway’s house where his old boots are in the bathroom and then back up to Miami doing the same thing and yeah a great family holiday. If you do it stop at The Fish Shack Key Largo for an awesome fresh fish lunch.’
13. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
‘A pleasure. Well, as I announced at the Arts Club during 2nd Honeymoon that the September gigs at The Everyman are in December I better take the opportunity to put that right. So, next Liverpool gigs are the 21/22 September at the Everyman Theatre in that there Hope Street, back in our old stamping ground! See you there…’