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Philadelphia Grand Jury


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Sydney, Australia (2008 – 2011, 2013 – present)

Philadelphia Grand Jury (The Philly Jays) are an Australian trio from Sydney, New South Wales. The band’s line up consists of Joel “MC Bad Genius” Beeson on bass, keyboard and guitar, Simon “Berkfinger” Berckelman on vocals and guitar and Dan “Dan W. Sweat” Williams drums. They play a mix of indie, punk and soul.

Beeson originally formed a band called Johnson in 2001 with his friend Berckelman, before creating the indie band label Motherlovin’ Records in 2004. Subsequent bands included Malcolm X & the Black Auditorium and Berkfinger and The Sweats, the latter combining to form Philadelphia Grand Jury in early 2008. Dan Williams (aka Dan W. Sweat) was the band’s original drummer before departing from the group in September 2009 to focus on performing with Art vs. Science. He rejoined the band in 2013 as a part of the band’s reunion.

In May 2009, the band signed a joint venture deal with Boomtown Records to release their records, on their own label, Normal People Making Hits, with distribution through Shock Records.

In June 2009, the band released “Going to the Casino (Tomorrow Night)” as a 7” vinyl EP. The EP was self-recorded, produced and released. “Going to the Casino” received significant airplay on Triple J and featured on the television mini-series Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, also appearing on the soundtrack album. The band’s debut album, Hope Is for Hopers, was released on 25 September 2009, reaching #34 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

At the fourth annual AIR Awards, held on 22 November 2009, Philadelphia Grand Jury won an award for ‘Best Independent Single or EP’. The video for “The Good News” was filmed in North Sydney and at Parsley Bay, Rowe Street-Bondi Junction & Lighthouse Reserve-Vaucluse.


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