Clive Langer was a guitarist and songwriter with the 70s Liverpool band Deaf School – one of my favourite groups when I was growing up as a teenager on Merseyside.

Sadly the band were critically acclaimed, but never sold any records.

Shortly after Deaf School split, Langer’s talents were put to good use – first producing a string of classic Madness hits with Alan Winstanley.

And then as the co-writer with Elvis Costello of one of the era’s defining songs – ‘Shipbuilding.’

It’s so era-defining that two BBC music programmes are currently looking at its impact.

BBC Radio 4’s ‘Soul Music’ is no stranger to this blog and ‘Shipbuilding’ is up there with its best editions.

Among its riches, it contains an excellent contribution from Clive Langer about the genesis of the song.

You also can contribute to BBC Radio 2’s project ‘The People’s Songs,’ which will be featuring ‘Shipbuilding’ in September, with your own thoughts and memories of the song.

Soul Music: Shipbuilding – BBC iPlayer

The People’s Songs: Shipbuilding


Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding

Elvis Costello – Shipbuilding

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