One of my favourite gigs last year was at the Croft to watch Random Family, The Miserable Rich and Babel. The venue itself wasn’t exactly impressive being one dark and dank room at the back of the pub, and all the bands were running late. The crowd seemed kind of restless with people coming in and out of the performances.
The Random Family were on first and they had comfy and friendly banter about driving down from Liverpool in the same car. The band is made up of four colourful members who play lots of instruments (!): Joe Keelan – vocals, guitars, mandolin, banjo, harmonica; Kathy Halter – vocals, flute, wooden flute, clarinet, tambourine, gloc (plinky plonk), harmonica; Paulie Riley – vocals, double bass; and Billy Lazareni – vocals, guitars, mandolin, ukulele, bouzouki.
As they say on their Myspace page, the Random Family combine traditional folk instruments and arrangements with modern approaches to song writing. They utilise four part harmonies, acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, tenor guitar, double bass, flute and clarinet to create their unique style and varities of arrangement.
They were a random find as I had originally gone to the Croft to listen to the Miserable Rich, however, I ended up preferring the first act. My two favourite songs are Lullaby and Dreams of You which are acoustic little folk creations that are lyrical and melodic set to a gentle rhythm. I love them and they are two of the loveliest songs to get lost to.
They are currently recording their first album so look out for that. Until then you can visit their web site to hear their songs http://www.myspace.com/therandomfamily1.