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Sue Swift of EDS

reviews Toadstone by Random

Random 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 –    There are 10 tracks with another track later – well worth the wait.