Book review

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Laura Davis reviews, September 2013

Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party by Paul Du Noyer (Liverpool University Press; £14.95 in paperback)

Music journalist Paul Du Noyer attempts to unravel the mystery of why Liverpool band Deaf School narrowly missed out on hitting the big time despite a cult following that continues four decades after they formed.

In doing so, he paints a colourful picture of the chaotically brilliant group of students and teachers of the Liverpool College of Art whose one rule was that being an interesting character was more important than actually being able to play a musical instrument well.

Du Noyer lets the band do most of the talking, presenting verbatim accounts from eccentrically-named members such as Enrico Cadillac Jnr, Bette Bright and The Revd Max Ripple – many of whom have gone on to extraordinarily successful music industry careers.

In between, he brings to life the excitement of both being in and witnessing the rise of a band that was like no other and would influence everyone from Madness to Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party makes you want to jump into a time machine destined for 1970s Hope Street so you can experience that buzz for yourself.

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