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Philadelphia Grand Jury at York Stereo (Live Review)

Thursday, 26 August 2010 Written by Adam Simpson
Philadelphia Grand Jury at Stereo, York.  (Live Review)

Wow! Before I even talk about the music, what about the show? Philadelphia Grand Jury played an unforgettable set in Stereo, York on Monday 23rd August. Lively, energetic and quite literally all over the place, The Philly Jays entertained from start to finish. Bouncing all over the place, swapping instruments and eventually ending up, playing in the middle of the crowd.

Musically, the Australian duo were brilliant, technically spot on with their playing of bass, guitar and keyboards and the groupís drummer, 54 year old American Calvin, who has played as a session drummer with the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire and Sonny Stitt in his time, was brilliant also, keeping up the blazing tempo of MC Bad Genius and Berkfingerís warp speed set.

Vocally the group were great also; Berkfingerís unique and quirky voice absolutely suiting the music they played, with MC Bad Geniusís backing, supporting the quirky and unique talent of The Philly Jays.

The octaving bass and scratchy, melodic riffs whipped the intimate venueís crowd into a frenzy and then the gig started, it is difficult to put into words exactly how entertaining and enthusiastic the set was, visually stunning; blink and you missed something or other as the groups front men threw themselves full on into the gig.

ImageBetween each track were yet more quirks, as pre-recorded, cooky narratives talked us through each step of the gig, even a broken bass string failed to dampen the spirits and I certainly left Stereo, knowing that I had witnessed something rather special.

Very similar in some ways to Talking Heads, the punky, poppy, indie music was catchy, melodic and at times quite grunge like. The Philadelphia Grand Jury are a group who are very difficult to put into a box or even describe. What is very easy to do is to say that the gig was outstanding, with no weak link in their armour. Even though they played a venue which is relatively small, I am sure given a bigger stage and larger crowd, the atmosphere and intensity would still be as strong. We talk a lot in the music industry about acts who entertain. You will have to search far and wide to find a group more entertaining and you cannot knock their music either.

Every aspect was fantastic, from start to finish, if I have to include a negative aspect, it would have to be that the set was too short, I could watch The Philly Jays for hours and hours.

The Philadelphia Grand Jury continue their extensive UK tour, with gigs up and down the country, visit the groups MySpace site for full details.

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