Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin
News January 2019
Happy New Year! We're pleased to announce the results of our Christmas Quiz. The question was: 'Wings On Our Shoes', the opening song of our new album Star Clocks, charts the continuing adventures of Henry & James, immortalized in the Stewart / Gaskin song of the same name. Prior to that, in what DS / BG cover version did these characters first appear, and who wrote the original song?
The answer is 'Leipzig', written by Thomas Dolby. First out of the hat with the correct answer was (drum roll...) lucky contestant Alan Harwood (cymbal crash), who wins two personalised signed CDs from our Stewart / Gaskin online store and a signed poster. Congratulations to Alan, and many thanks to all the people who wrote nice message of support for our recent album release and live concerts!
The Henry & James Chronicles
In 1983 Dave & Barbara covered Thomas Dolby's 'Leipzig'. The song (first released as a Thomas Dolby B-side produced by Andy Partridge of XTC fame) introduces the characters Henry, James and their colleague Leonard, English office workers of a certain age eagerly "eyeing the Overseas Page" as they look for exciting new job opportunities in Europe - the kind of downtrodden, overworked characters portrayed in Tony Hancock's The Rebel.
In Dave's words, "In April 1984, a couple of years after recording 'Leipzig', Stiff Records made us an offer for our single 'I'm In A Different World' and we found ourselves needing a B-side in a hurry. I set about writing a short song with a simple arrangement which we could record quickly. Searching for a lyrical theme, I remembered Thomas Dolby's pair of office workers, and decided the song would be about them. Whether or not they had ever made it to Leipzig, Henry and James were destined to live on."
In a further twist, the trio of bowler-hatted gents enjoyed a successful posting to America when Keyboard Magazine included Dave & Barbara's song in their Soundpage Flexidisc series in 1985. Dave explains: "The Flexidisc was the original floppy disc - a painfully thin square of plastic with a central circular section resembling an anorexic 7" vinyl single, sellotaped to the front of the mag as sales bait. This insubstantial sound carrier attracted some heavyweight participants, with Jan Hammer, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Frank Zappa all contributing Soundpage pieces. Our offering, an extended version of 'Henry & James', appeared in Keyboard's December 1985 issue. The reaction was extremely positive. Daft though it may seem, that flimsy plastic platter seems to have won us more listeners in the USA than anything we've released before or since - we received countless enquiries about it, as a result of which the extended arrangement became a permanent fixture in our live set for a while."
(The Keyboard Flexidisc arrangement is included in the Stewart / Gaskin
Hour Moon EP.)
Having received a fresh lease of life, the much-travelled characters continue their upward trajectory in 'Wings On Our Shoes', opening track of the new Stewart / Gaskin album Star Clocks, which sees Henry, James and their pal Leonard re-cast as interstellar commuters. A full musical deconstruction of 'Henry & James' (including the complex Flexidisc version) appears in Dave's
Inside The Music Vol. 1 audio/visual ebook, which explains the inner workings of some classic Stewart / Gaskin songs along with lyrics, song notes and autobiographical details from the composer.
Dave Stewart (keyboards) and Barbara Gaskin (vocals) are English musicians who began their respective careers as band members in the early '70s. The duo enjoyed immediate success with their 1981 debut single 'It's My Party', a worldwide hit which reached number one in the UK and Germany. Dave & Barbara have worked together ever since, releasing their music on their own independent Broken Records label and occasionally performing live as a trio or quartet.
This site focuses on the work of Stewart / Gaskin, which can best be described as intelligent pop music. For more information, please see our info page links below. Our complete catalogue, including 12" mixes, alternative versions and bonus tracks, is now available in remastered CD format from our
online store, operated by our musician friends Burning Shed. All profits from these sales go directly to the artists with no record company involvement.
Feel free to join us on our Facebook band page, which also carries our news postings. However, since Facebook limits the reach of posts, the most reliable way of staying informed is to subscribe to our email newsletter service. To sign up, please click here and add your email address to our mailing list (operated by Burning Shed). We will not share this secure information, you will not be spammed and you can unsubscribe any time. If you already added your name, be sure to notify us of any change of email address.
Inside The Music Online
A brief history of Broken Records
The Vinyl Archive
Barbara Gaskin bio
Dave Stewart bio
The Eric McWhirter Home Page
FAQ & links
All text, images and audio files on this website copyright of Broken Records, UK.
Green and Blue
Hour Moon EP
The TLG Collection
The Big Idea
As Far As Dreams Can Go
Broken Records - The Singles
7" Vinyl Singles
Inside The Music Vols. 1 & 2
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Live photos of Stewart / Gaskin band, Tokyo 2009 copyright Harumi Maezawa.
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