Tim Heather of Bonnygreen website
reviews Toadstone by RandomOf course it has been said that the easiest way to judge the danceability of a ceilidh band is to go their ceilidh. Making a CD of ceilidh tunes can be a disappointment to the lounge listener who may expect the adrenaline rushes associated with a good ceilidh. Random have easily pulled it off, and their latest CD is not only a compelling advert which will have you jotting the next Random ceilidh in your diary, but stands on its own as a very listenable album which will have you bouncing around the confines of your home. Random conjures images of chaos and energy, but from a musical viewpoint,
one thing this band is not is chaotic. The seamless split-second timing, perfectly balanced textures and transient arrangements make for an overall sound which is both dynamic and sensitive. The six musicians that make the band are Paul Nye on melodeon and harmonica, Roger Smith on drums, Saul Rose on melodeon and guitar cameo, Glen Burch on trombone, Keith Holloway on bass and Ian Woledge on guitar. As Random, they combine a heady mix of influences, drawing on folk tunes from Canada and America to France, Spain and the Celtic nations, and alluding to such giants in the folk world as Eliza Carthy, Tim Van Eyken and Andy Cutting, to create a sound that is both diverse and reassuringly English! I am especially impressed with track 2 and the way the music seems to grow out of the ground, reaching skyward but held down by the steady and dominant bass and drums. The echo effect on the melodeon suggest a particular musical genius. This is my favourite track, but the tracks are so varied in arrangement and style that I think each listener would have their own favourite; each track is as impressive as the next, and this demonstrates the bands ability to, one minute lift you up in twirls and spasms of dance and the next immerse your world with the plaintive strains of a gentle waltz.
It is refreshing to hear such electric ceilidh music with guts gracing the stage of the ceilidh world. We eagerly await more!