RANDOM - Toadstone
Wild Goose WGS328CD

Oh dear, not another recording that doesn’t know what it really wants to be?’ These were my first thoughts when I read the subtitle of this CD – “electric ceilidh music with guts”. It sounds a bit like ‘Punk Folk’ or something. However, on playing it for the first time it immediately proved the old adage that you should never judge a CD by it’s cover. ‘Toadstone’ is one of the most enjoyable ceilidh band CDs I have heard for some time. The band do indeed breathe life into the music and produce a robust but controlled sound – they definitely know what they want. The musicians very skillfully maintain the integrity of the music without making it irrelevant to today’s listener and/or dancer.

Their repertoire is the now fairly familiar mixture of traditional and original compositions with some nice unusual tunes. As I have said, the playing is strong and well integrated with excellent arrangements. Paul Wye (Melodeon and Harmonica), Roger Smith (Drums), Saul Rose (Melodeon), Glynn Burch (Trombone), Ian Woledge (Guitar) and Keith Holloway (Bass Guitar) - the members of Random are a talented group of musicians to be sure.

This is functional music, and probably best enjoyed live at a dance. However, if like me you don’t really dance, don’t let it stop you putting ‘ Toadstone’ on your CD player at home and enjoying this fine music – it will soon have your toes tapping.

Another well produced and very entertaining release from Wild Goose.

Danny Saunders


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This album was reviewed in Issue 65 of The Living Tradition magazine.