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Beyond the bongo

The Bongolian returns to showcase his latest release Bongos for Beatniks

Blow Up Records' best-selling artist, Craig Charles' favourite and Newbury resident, The Bongolian (aka Nasser Bouzida), returns to Arlington Arts on Saturday, October 29 to showcase his latest release Bongos for Beatniks.

His fourth album under The Bongolian moniker continues Nasser's musical journey where 2007's Outer Bongolia left off, bringing us back down to Earth, possibly via France circa 1967, in a wildly eclectic rare groove fusion of funk soul Hammond beat jazz and a sci-fi boogaloo.

The first single to be taken to radio from the album The Riviera Affair (Feburary 2011) was featured on BBC 6 Music Nemone's Lunchtime Loves (who interviewed Nasser before his sell-out Blow Up / hmv Next Big Thing) alongside support plays by Gideon Coe and Craig Charles at 6 Music, and proving a strong favorite with club DJs around the UK. The track was also featured as a Sky Sports Soccer AM track of the week. The second single Give It To Me (On The Left Side) is a furiously paced bongo-crazed Hammond happening that is already receiving radio play ahead of the album release, both singles along with many album tracks are already proving strong favorites on the Blow Up club dance floor.

A decade ago Nasser Bouzida disappeared into his studio and created a solo set of recordings which resulted in the birth of his alter ego The Bongolian. Drawing on his influences of funk, soul and jazz, Nasser produced an inspired selection of recordings blending elements of grinding percussion and heavy Bongo rhythms. The eponymous debut The Bongolian was released early in 2002 to much critical acclaim, followed by the 2006 Blueprint and in 2008 by Outer Bongolia (which scored a licensing deal in Japan). The albums have become record box essentials for DJs, finding a wide appeal from dance and hip-hop to rare groove and funk 45s fans. Nasser has assembled a high calibre five-piece live band with whom The Bongolian has toured US, UK and Europe.

Following February's sell-out hmv Next Big Thing show The Bongolian appeared in London at the Blow Up Easter club special at Madame JoJo's.

Tickets, priced £10 in advance (£12 on the door), are available from the box office on (01635) 244246, or visit www.arlingtonarts.co.uk

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