BIG BOSS MAN Strawberry Fields, Glasgow, 11 Oct

‘This guy came to one of our gigs after buying Blow Up A Go Go,’ laughs Nasser Bouzida, the mighty Hammond player and vocalist of one of the UK funk scenes most idiotically overlooked bands. ‘He came up to us afterwards and said: “God, I thought you would all be in your 505!” He thought we had originally recorded the track in the 60s.’

Big Boss Man rose from the ashes of a band called Scooby, who in the early 90$ could be seen way down the support billing to bands such as Mother Earth and Corduroy. Things fell apart and in November 1998 Bouzida along with Trevor Harding (guitar), Scott Milsom (double bass) and Nick Nicholls (bongos, drums) formed the new band.

‘We just wanted to make funky Hammond grooves with some heavy bongo percussion vibes accompanied by some funk guitar,’ says Bouzida. ‘Our stuff is not jazz funk, it’s harder than that. We are influenced by Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, Ray Barretto, Tito Puento and of course James Brown and the Small Faces.’

In early 1999 the band got themselves a gig at the renowned Blow Up night then situated at the Wag Club in London. They shook the place to its very foundations and were immediately signed up to the clubs own label. Their first release, ‘Sea Change’, sold well, but it was the inclusion of a demo version of their fantastic tune ‘Humanise’ on the excellent compilation album Blow Up A Go Go that got them noticed in Europe, now they play to packed houses in France, Germany, Spain and Moscow.

They are just finishing up their second album, and Bouzida solo effort The Bongo/fan has already hit the streets. This Scottish gig is a one-off before another European tour proper kicks off later this year. Live they are simply unmissable: tight and bone crunchingly funky. Miss them and you will most definitely miss out. (Paul Dale)

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RSNO WINTER SEASON Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 4 Oct; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Sat 5 Oct

In a rather stylish start to their new Winter season. the RSNO go to town with a glitzy line up of guests for the first concerts. Scottish screen star Daniela Nardini makes her debut as presenter narrator. while the vocal soIOists for the evening include the magnificent Jane IrWin. Scotland’s own Linda Ormiston and the acclaimed mezzo-soprano. LOLiise Winter. And that's befOre even mentioning the orchestra's prinCipaI conductor. Alexander Lazarev.

Breaking With convention, Nardini. best known for her BAFTA Winning role of Anna in This Life. will take to the stage to tell the audience something of what they are about to hear. In the first half its Janacek's res0unding Sinfoniefta and she then goes on to set the scene for Mascagni‘s one-act opera Cava/Ieria Rust/cana. which was itself an award Winner and instant success in its time. 'I haven't done anything quite like this before' says Nardini. ‘but it's really interesting to do something completely different' Nardini's background is, naturally. in the theatre. but she is a keen classical music fan. with her particular interest in opera making her an ingenious choice for this particular role.

Daniella Nardini knows the script

Whether it's Anna or the criminal pathologist she plays in her TV drama Outside the Flu/es. Nardini is generally portraying a character other than her own. Being herself on this occasion is. however. not at all daunting. “it is a bit different from acting' she says. ‘but perhaps more like reading a veice-over for a documentary or telling a stOry.' The story of Caval/eria Rust/cam is set ll‘. SiCily and concerns love. misplaced affections. murder. the inevitable ensuing grief and the somewhat unusual Sicilian custom of ear—biting as a challenge to a duel. Caval/eria Rust/cam was first peiformed in Rome in 1890. not far from the home of Nardini's forebears. and it must surely be completely coincidental that it was in this same year that Rosa and Pietro Nardini made their way to Scotland to open the world famous Nardini ice- cream parIOur in Largs. But then again. it could always be another piece of ingenuity from the RSNO. (Carol Main)

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