Soul, jazz and funk come in all kinds of forms and with the right commitment can be created anywhere… but Berne, Switzerland? Well, yes – and here’s the proof in the form of this eight piece outfit, whose debut is big, brash and brassy. Fronted by energetic female vocalist Renate Scheurer, you can hear that the banana bunch have been listening long and hard to people like the Crusaders, Tower of Power, Sly Stone and even dear ole Incognito, Jamiroquai and the Brand New Heavies. Of the ten tracks, ‘Wanna Know It’ is possibly the tightest, funkiest cut – with big brass blasts that might have impressed the Godfather himself. ‘Shake It’ has a lot of loose-limbed energy, while the opener ‘Grown Up’ has a brass intro that could have been created in Oakland. It’s all interesting stuff but what the set lacks is one big-grab-you-right-by-the-balls cut. The band have relied on their own song writing throughout and created pastiches rather than originals and no one song is truly memorable. Maybe if they’d tackled some kind of cover we could get a better measure of them and though Frau Scheurer throws a lot at each song it’s clear that her roots are in European pop rather than in American a gospel. That said, there’s something intriguing and certainly soulful about ‘Peel It’ and it’s sure a deal funkier than a Toblerone!