IF this Christmas is to be Pacific Road arts centre’s last, Deaf School’s December 23 gig will certainly be a good way to bow out.
The cult 1970s band’s festive show – named after fan favourite What A Way To End It All – could be one of the last gigs at the Birkenhead venue, which faces an uncertain future as an arts centre and is up for sale.
In the summer the eight-strong combo also provided the soundtrack to one of the final shows at the Everyman in Liverpool.
But it’s more about a love of the big occasion, promises guitarist Clive Langer (aka Cliff Hanger).
“I think it’s because we’ve got that song, it seems to fit,” he laughs.
“No, it’s definitely just a coincidence. We don’t look for places which are shutting down! It’s an occasion for us to get the band together, and because it’s Christmas and the place might be closing, it should be quite a special night.”
The band formed in Liverpool in 1974 after Clive and frontman Enrico Cadillac (real name Steve Allen) met at art college.
They reform sporadically and still have a loyal audience. At recent performances, those audiences have included members of Madness, Glen Matlock, Holly Johnson, Kevin Rowland and Ian Broudie.
Clive went on to make his name as a producer with Madness and worked with Morrissey, David Bowie and Elvis Costello.
But he says: “It’s great to keep the band going and dosome new recordings.
“I think we just enjoy it so much we thought ‘why stop?’ Why come back in 10 years when we could do something this year?
“The band still exists even though everyone has other things going on.”
Deaf School attracted a cult following in Liverpool with their rock/cabaret repertoire and went on to make three albums.
They had a minor hit with What A Way To End It All but commercial success eluded them.
Although they recorded three sessions for John Peel, mainstream radio stations refused to play their music.
Clive recalls: “Radio One wouldn’t play What A Way To End It All because of our name. They thought it was offensive but it was never meant to be. The place where we rehearsed used to be a school for the deaf.
“It was also to do with the fact that we couldn’t play very well. But we’re getting better. When we’re 100 we’ll be really good!”
The band are playing two Christmas shows, the first coming at the Jazz Cafe, London, on December 21.
Deaf School’s What A Way To End It All show at Pacific Road starts at 7pm. Tickets are £16 from 666 0000.