Sue Swift of EDS
reviews Toadstone by RandomRandom are a dynamic, vibrant ceilidh band – sample them here for a mixture of familiar and new tunes – all given added zest and a very danceable bounce by six musicians – two melodeons, two guitars, trombone and drums.
Experimental and interesting arrangements appear on a number of tracks, including ‘Mopping the Cedar’, enhancing the fun aspect and enjoyable rhythms of the music. I liked the harmonising echoes produced with the interplay of melodeons as on the Playford tunes ‘Mount Hills/Stingo’ and ‘Captain Courageous/Ice House Schottische No. 2’ and the lingering tones of Paul Nye’s tunes, particularly ‘Shed Happens’ and ‘Cruel Wars’.
The band has a good cohesive sound with excellent supportive rhythm and bass yet somehow the sound produced by Saul Rose is quire distinct and extra special – his technique and mastery of the melodeon is stunning. It’s all to do with the manner in which the notes appear – tumbling, bouncing, falling, being teased or squeezed out of the instrument, even if the note only seems to last for a millisecond among a hundred others. Saul’s solo performance of the unnamed ‘Sussex Polka/Emily’s Waltz’ is simply beautiful with deep and emotional harmonies. I would welcome a future opportunity to hear a solo CD with handpicked guests to take his music to new levels.
The CD notes are excellent although the authorship by Saul rather than Random is a little confusing. The website adds a little about the band and a contact for more information – www.randomband-agency.com. There are 10 tracks with another track later – well worth the wait.