Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin
News February 2024
T h a n k y o u B e a t l e s !
60 years ago this month (13.20pm, February 7th 1964, to be precise) The Beatles landed at New York's Kennedy Airport six days after scoring their first no. 1 U.S. hit with 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'. To celebrate the anniversary of this momentous event, we made a YouTube video featuring our version of The Beatles' great song 'Good Morning Good Morning', which appears on our album
Green and Blue. The fourth track on Side 2 of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the song is John Lennon's sardonic take on monotonous 9 to 5 life in 1960's Liverpool, written after watching a TV commercial for Kellogg's Corn Flakes with the annoying jingle 'Good morning, good morning, the best to you each morning!'
The animal noises on the playout were originally available on an EMI Records sound effects disc Dave had bought back in the day in pursuit of his early tape recorder experiments. Lennon's concept for the effects was that each successive animal could eat or terrify the preceding one, culminating in the sounds of a foxhunt and a roar from an enraged predator (sadly, all conspicuously absent from the Corn Flakes jingle). The lyric 'It's time for tea and Meet the Wife' is a reference to a dreary black and white 1960s TV sitcom which UK families were forced to watch as a punishment - or so it seemed to us disaffected sixties teenagers.
In our cover version Barbara's self-produced lead and harmony vocals are mainly first takes with no auto-tuning or editing. In addition to keyboards and brass samples, Dave plays bass guitar on the first part of the song before reverting to synth bass for the remainder. Andy Reynolds plays guitar and Gavin Harrison's exuberant drum performance sounds like he's enjoying himself! No animals were harmed during this recording.
In case you missed it, our recent Classic Tracks video is 'Heavy Heart' from our album
Star Clocks, featuring Barbara's beautiful vocal, a long keyboard solo by Dave and great performances from Beren Matthews (guitar) and Gavin Harrison (drums). Also featured on our
YouTube channel is some rare concert footage of us performing the song
'Grey Skies' from our album
The Big Idea on the first night of our 1991 Japanese tour. The live line-up was Barbara (vocals), Dave (keyboards) and guitarist Andy Reynolds, seen here playing hand percussion.
I n s i d e T h e M u s i c
Something of a buried treasure, Dave's audio-visual Inside The Music articles explain the inner workings of Stewart / Gaskin songs, including 'Henry & James' (Keyboard Flexidisc version) and the duo's epic arrangements of 'Busy Doing Nothing' and 'New Jerusalem'. Originally published as an online series and now available as downloadable eBooks, the articles contain music notation, audio clips (including slower-tempo 'play along' versions), photos, lyrics, extensive song and recording notes, musical insights and autobiographical details.
First published online as a 2020 lockdown project, Inside The Music Volume 3 deconstructs songs from the Stewart / Gaskin album Star Clocks with detailed commentary from Dave, Barbara and guitarist Beren Matthews. Also included is an exhaustive investigation of the epic 'New Jerusalem' featuring drum notes by Gavin Harrison, and a hitherto unpublished article on the song 'Ride the High Atlantic Wind'. A fascinating and engagingly written glimpse into the unique musical mind of one of the UK's most respected keyboardists and composers. All three Inside The Music volumes are available now from our online store.
S t a r C l o c k s
Some listener comments on our latest album. Thanks to the kind folks who sent them!
"Utterly, utterly beautiful. A great and sublime creation. There's so much depth to this album... both of you show development and even greater maturity since the last album. I love 'Everything Sings' in particular. It's anthemic. But all the tracks are faultless in both production and performance."
"Awesome, just awesome. Dave's lyrics and music are fantastic and so is Barbara's immaculate voice - still to my mind one of the best female voices of her generation... 'Everything Sings' is about as perfect as perfection can get. Amazing poetry, composition and performance."
"My copy of Star Clocks arrived today and I am very happy. It's beautiful and on repeat. The subtlety and poignancy of the music still grows and progresses."
"Thank you for your music!! It's golden, classic pop that keeps on giving. Barbara's singing is just lovely, it's sweet and true."
"Their mellow songs continue to be among the most gorgeous anywhere."
"The pure definition of intelligent pop music. I treasure every release!"
"STAR CLOCKS IS BEAUTIFUL."
"Totally in love with the wonderful new album. Brings me to tears."
"A great album by two artists still at the top of their game. Overall the whole album just sounds great!"
"I received yesterday your Star Clocks CD and I'm already at the third listen. What I can say? As always it's a GEM!!!"
"Barbara is sounding better than ever. Like good wine, your voice gets better with time. Thank you for your wonderful music!"
"I put on Star Clocks as soon as I received it and love the new songs & lyrics! VERY inspiring! Excellent mix & recording (as always)... love the great keyboard patches (and performances) and Barbara sounds better than ever! Gavin Harrison is fantastic (as always) and the guitar parts fit right in and are very complimentary as well. Congratulations on another musical success! 'The magic remains'."
"The house is shaking with the thunderous sounds of Star Clocks. How does Dave manage to create such sounds from just a handful of keyboards? Why is Barbara not lauded far and wide as one of the UK's great vocalists? A resounding musical success... again. Play on repeat."
"'Everything Sings' and 'Time's Arrow' feel like the emotional essence of Star Clocks. More sedate and introspective, they are suffused with a languid melancholy. Gaskin's gloriously multitracked voice articulates the wonder of being alive in the former and one's inevitable mortality in the latter. Incredibly poignant, Stewart's meticulous orchestration on these deeply affecting melodies is equal to his best work. Magical and moving, they are quietly devastating."
Dave Stewart (keyboards) and Barbara Gaskin (vocals) are English musicians who began their respective careers as band members in the early '70s. During this time Dave won a reputation as a leading keyboard player and composer, while Barbara's pure, unaffected vocals wowed the listeners of the day. In 1981 the two joined forces and enjoyed immediate success with 'It's My Party', a worldwide hit which reached no. 1 in the UK and Germany. Since then the Stewart-Gaskin partnership has evolved into one of the UK's most respected, innovative and intelligent Pop acts, characterised by Barbara's heavenly vocals and Dave's complex, musically adventurous arrangements. The duo have released seven albums to date and continue to create new music.
Dave & Barbara release their music on their own Broken Records label (distributed by Burning Shed) and perform live as a trio or quartet. Having enlisted guitarist Beren Matthews, the Stewart / Gaskin band performed successful Autumn 2018 headlining concerts in Tokyo and London, the latter also featuring master drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, The Pineapple Thief). Dave, Barbara and Beren returned to Tokyo in November 2019 and emerged from lockdown with a memorable 40-year anniversary concert at London's Kings Place on Saturday July 9th 2022. Having performed three further Tokyo concerts in April 2023, the trio made a triumphant return to Kings Place Hall One on August 5th 2023.
This site focuses on the work of Stewart / Gaskin, which can best be described as intelligent pop music. Our CDs, signed vinyl singles and Dave's Inside The Music ebooks are available from our Stewart / Gaskin online store, operated by our musician colleagues Burning Shed. All sales revenue goes directly to the musicians with no record company involvement.
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Inside The Music eBooks
A brief history of Broken Records
The Vinyl Archive
Barbara Gaskin bio
Dave Stewart bio
The Eric McWhirter Home Page
FAQ & links
Green and Blue
Hour Moon EP
The TLG Collection
The Big Idea
All text, images and audio files on this website copyright of Broken Records, UK.
As Far As Dreams Can Go
Broken Records - The Singles
7" Vinyl Singles
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Live photos of Stewart / Gaskin band, Tokyo 2009-2023 copyright Harumi Maezawa.
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