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Theo of Unicorn

reviews Toadstone by Random

Yet another excellently produced CD from Doug and Sue Baileys Wildgoose Studios, Toadstone is the second CD collection of wild ceilidh tunes from local band Random. Those of you who have had the priviledge of dancing to them will know that they are one of the best dance bands around.
Whether this is so evident on this CD Im not so sure, the music sometimes feeling leaden and lifeless, the lead melodeon dominating, and the rhythm sometimes lacking the energy and drive that a band would, in turn, derive from performing in front of an lively audience.
Theres an excellent collection of tunes her, however, from both within the tradition and from writers as diverse as American Bob Walser and hurdy gurdy player Nigel Eaton. Theres a couple too from one of the bands melodeon players Paul Nye (the other being Saul Rose).
Adding to the big sound are Roger Smith on drums, Ian Woledge on guitar, Keith Holloway on bass and Glynn Burch on trombone.
A good collection of tunes from this terrific band, but I think theyre much better heard in their native environment, the dance hall.