On 19th March, 2011 the Friends of the Bowes Museum Music Group presented a superb opportunity to participate in the music of the Northumbrian based song-writing duo, Landermason. This was billed as a concert of ‘unique blend of Jazz and Folk ‘music but it was much more than that. 

The entertainment started with the audience seated in the Red Room surrounded by historical keyboard instruments and inspirational paintings, and Paul Mason creating a relaxed mood on guitar. The haunting sounds of Fiona Lander on saxophone approached from a distance. She moved into the room to join Paul and had by then captivated all like the Pied Piper. The duo gently encouraged participation in their original, fun take of familiar folk tunes like When the Boat comes In and The Lambton Worm. No persuasion was needed as from the start of each number the guests were tapping feet and smiling. They also charmed young and old with their own compositions particularily with Tree of Souls.

The excellent balance of technical and musical skills was produced by Paul on guitar and Fiona on all manner of small wind instruments including an alba. This was enhanced by the addition of witty and enchanting lyrics. We were thrilled by the duo’s version of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five and Van Morrison’s Moondance. The latter was chosen to celebrate the closeness of the moon to earth that evening.

The success of the event could be judged by the throng around the table to purchase CD’s and the requests for Landermason to perform at other venues at a later date. The audience left feeling musically uplifted and glad to be alive as the duo wished us good health, wealth and happiness in their final song.

Carole De Luc (Friends of the Bowes Museum)