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Landermason At The Real-Music Club

Live In The Kiln at Sharpes Pottery Museum, Swadlincote, Derbyshire

Fiona Lander wins you over in the time it takes her to flash a smile. Immediate, attractive, effervescent and so full of life it bubbles over like pink champagne. Paul Mason is more of a still wine. Subtle in flavour and quieter at opening, but again his warm smile and enjoyment of life invites you to know him better. Paul in grey sweatshirt, electric blue patch trousers and sandals; Fiona brighter in white trousers and autumn leafed top, also in sandals. Two beaming smiles later and they have the audience forgetting the summer rain. By the time the first note is played you realise these two likable individuals have that rare, rare commodity. Call it the X-Factor, call it star quality, call it what ever you want. They have it. They have that special fusion of personality, magnificent musicianship, inspiring songs, toe-tapping tunes and memorable vocals that converts performance into cd sales on a consistent basis. Audiences dont queue up to buy the CDs of support acts very often. On this occasion even the barman came downstairs with his cash crumpled in his hand. Rob, he said, if you dont book these as headliners next year you must be mad. Pauls guitar work is the engine of the performance. It doesnt battle against the songs, or demand to master the tunes. It leads them forward knowing the path so well that the other instruments follow with confidence. Fionas keyboard playing is probably the best Ive heard in the Kiln not necessarily for the wizardry but more because Fiona knows how it fits within Landermasons mini orchestra of sound. The keyboard is there to do its part. A servant to Pauls guitar, a backdrop to the vocal scene, an anchor for the soaring whistles. Minimalist, atmospheric, expressive. How can I describe it? Do you know how as a summer storm passes, the thunder rumbles a bass back note? How you sense the smell of damp fruitfulness hanging in the air and see a rainbow slowly fade against a slate sky. That is how the Keyboard envelops Landermasons music. The recorders, whistles, flute, & clarinet flutter around Pauls guitarwork whilst the Saxophone provides the pillow on which to rest your head. Fiona dances from one instrument to another. Paul Stoic and grounded holds it all together. Landermason are a force of nature. I Know Theres A Reason and Angel of the North are triumphs, both live and as title tracks of the duos two different but equally memorable albums. I have both in the car and repeated plays over a long journey have allowed me to fall in love with both. I love Whistle Jig and Saxophone Jig and Somalia but it takes Mirror and Words Unsaid to satisfy the jazz lover in me. Back to the live performance in the Kiln and I remember with fondness Take 5. So if you ever hear of a mysterious duo called Landermason and wonder who they are, or you read that folk provides the theme but jazz determines the style and dont quite know what that means. Or if you hear Angel of the North being played on the Radio and wonder if the composers are one hit wonders dont dismiss them, dont ignore them, Landermason are incredible. Take your chance to see Fiona dancing between musical styles and Paul standing astride them while you can. Landermason wont remain a mystery for long. Rob Henry The Real-Music Club