History & BiographyGaskin came to the masses as an NWOBHM band with more technicality and proficiency than average. The act was formed in March, 1980 with Paul Gaskin on guitars and vocals, Dave Norman on drums and Stef Prokopczuk on bass. The band's April, 1980 demo featured the songs Sweet Dream Maker, Despiser, End Of The World and I'm No Fool and was recorded at Fairview studio in Hull. Through the demo's engineer Ron Neave, who had worked with Witchfynde, the band got in contact with Witchfynde's label Rondelet on the same weekend as the recording. Gaskin supposedly rejected the label at first before returning after a year's worth of searching for an alternative.
During that period the band opened for Girlschool, Vardis and Wishbone Ash. As well, famed metal DJ Neal Kay got in touch with the band and the demo soon became a regular at the Bandwagon HM charts. The same DJ suggested that the band back away from its record deal and obtain a dedicated frontman. One of the people auditioned was Steve Mills of Trespass. In April, 1981 the band issued a single - culled from the demo - featuring I'm No Fool and Sweet Dream. The band's debut was recorded and released in 1981 with the band disliking the production obtained at Fairview. Very soon the band tried another singer, called Mick Clarke, and spent time at Enids studio for a weekend in order to record several new tracks. At this point, a major split occurs with Stef and Mick venturing off to their own band, Ace Lane. Bassist Baggy was recruited soon thereafter. Gaskin recorded its second album in April, 1982 at Enids studio in Suffolk. The album was more commercial in nature and despite a period with Bren Spencer on vocals and a tour with Wishbone Ash the act went nowhere. Spencer and Gaskin were looking for a heavier direction, while Dave was comfortable down the commercial lane. All this resulted in a final gig in December, 1982 at Scunthorpe Baths. A new line-up in London featuring Dave Gugelot on bass and Dave Wagstaffe on drums did not last. While the band disbanded after No Way Out, because of a breakdown of sorts on the part of Gaskin, the act reappeared on Neat some 17 years later partly spurred by the appearance of the band's music on several NWOBHM samplers in the '90s. Stand or Fall collected dust for some eight years before finally being released.
Bren Spencer died in a car accident in 1996 for which the band played a one-off reunion show. Gaskin had spent time in Hard Core and Moscow. The band's biggest show was Wacken 2000 where the reformed band performed. More was planned for Gaskin until Paul had another incident and everything was put on ice again. In 2004, Paul Gaskin was in the process of putting together brand new tracks and a band to record and play live with in Summer of 2005, including another trip to Germany for the Headbangers Open Air festival. The band announced a 25th anniversary concert on the 11th of August at the Baths Hall in Scunthorpe, England. The line-up was Paul Gaskin, guitars and vocals, Dave Norman, drums, Tony Ilkiw, bass and singer Andy Wood. This line-up was also planning a new studio album. Prokopczuk died after a heart attack in 2008. Baggy died in 2012. The Contract demo preceded Edge Of Madness.
The band played sporadic shows and even experimented with a dedicated keyboardist before going silent. Tony Ilkiw returned in 2019. Gaskinized was a 2020 compilation set through Rubicon.