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Barstool Blues CD Review
By Scottish Keith Stodart

Somewhere there’s a Barstool waiting for you

You know it seems so long ago that I helped Mike out with his copies of the City Life demos, so much has happened since then, one of them being that the his new CD called is now called Barstool Blues rather than City Life which I personally think is far more appropriate as far as Mr.Randle is concerned.

I got the original master from Mike and prior to sending it onto Ochre records I made myself a copy (well that was part of the deal wasn’t it Mike!?. Mike was keen to hear my view of the CD but to be honest I’ve been really busy at work and I was also preparing some compilation CD’s for an alternative music night that I was DJ’ing at in a local pub (Seriously Mike!!!)

Now why Mike values my opinion in music god knows it’s been said about me that I’ve got the biggest collection of CD’s that no ones heard of, which I take as a compliment! . I think he just wanted it as a friend. Anyway I had only briefly skimmed through the tracks and found it to be on the mellow side, I reckoned it mood music, and you had to be in the mood.

When I read his recent diary I felt rather guilty that I hadn’t given it a good listen to and I also got the impression that my non comment on the CD was a clear pointer that I thought it was crap, which was not the case (Honest Mike!)

Today is Fathers day in the UK, which means not a jot, especially if you have to drive to the IKEA sale then go onto Newcastle to buy kids clothes. Newcastle’s about 35- 40 minutes so here’s my opportunity to hear Mike’s CD in it’s entirety. I stick it into the CD player in my car, not telling my wife who it is and we all have a listen, kids and all.

My wife’s comments are that’s good who’s that? She recognises “Snug Harbour” but can’t remember where from, “Glad You’re Gone” comes on she asks if it’s the Beach Boys? I put her out her misery and say it’s Mike’s new CD, what !!! Is that Mike singing? When “Cocktails” comes on she knows it’s Mike as she can relate songs about alcohol to Mike.

Well what do I think ?? It’s maybe wrong to make comparisons with other groups as I’m sure Mike wants to have his own identity but to me it’s The Beach Boys meet Teenage Fanclub at there mellowest. “This is The Sound” is a great opening track and the all the songs from the City Life Demos sound so much “fuller” with the inclusion of the other musicians. As well as the opening track I’m particularly impressed by “All The Beautiful People”, “City Life”, “Watersigns” and that 9-minute finale “Orland Park”.

My advice to you all is buy the CD, fire up the barbie, open some beers uncork some fine wine and simply chill out, you won’t regret it.

Mr.Randle I salute you you’ve recorded yourself a little gem.