Feelings is the new solo project by ex-Philly Jays guitarist and singer Simon Berkfinger, and he has just released his first single ‘One In A Million‘.
Philadelphia Grand Jury were one of my favourite local acts ever and when they broke up at the end of last year I hit some dark places. Listening to Feelings is a double edged sword in many ways, its exciting but also opening up old wounds, I miss MC Bad Genius and his ‘Evil Eyes’!
Having said that, this first single is (as expected) a promising resurgence of the Philly Jays characteristic pop ingrained rock sound. ‘One In A Million’ has that raw bassline, the lowkey but effective drum patterns and that unique Berkfinger falsetto that can have even the hardest of macho men grooving. Perhaps more on the poppy side that the rock side, than I was expecting, but I will be excited to hear more from Feelings.
I will be especially keen to catch them at their shows next month, where Berkfinger will be joined on stage by Dan Sweat from Art Vs Science and Dappled Cities’ Dave Rennick. Tour Dates are below the track, along with a video that should answer any other Berkfinger related questions.
Wednesday 19 September – Beach Road Hotel, Bondi
Thursday 20 September – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane
Friday 21 September – GoodGod, Sydney
Saturday 22 September – The Workers Club, Melbourne
This was not the Good News the Philly Jays were known for. Rumours had it they broke up after MC Bad Genius, contrary to popular belief did indeed want to party (party), whilst Berkfinger had spent too much of the bands money Going to the Casino (tomorrow night).
Puns aside, one of my favourite Australian bands ever, Philadelphia Grand Jury (aka the Philly Jays), called it quits after only releasing one absolutely awesome Aussie rock album, Hope is for Hopers. It pains me to think that MC Bad Genius, Berkfinger and their various assortment of drummers responsible for producing the song I wake up to every morning, ‘The Good News’ are no more.
For those who never had the pleasure of seeing the Philly Jays live, they missed out on one of the most intense and energetic live shows Australia has ever seen. I doubt we will ever see a band that spends half their shows singing in the crowd, has their bassist do ‘evil eyes’ anywhere near the standard that MC Bad Genius set, and after it all will actually go and have a beer with all their fans at the bar.
Hope is for Hopers was easily by favourite album of 2009. It was fast, it was clever, and it made you want to party on a Lindsay Lohan scale. Every listen was like riding a roller-coaster, and not a crappy Luna Park roller-coaster. We’re talking one of the fastest, biggest and scariest roller-coasters like ‘The Nemesis’ (arguably the worlds best roller coaster – google it). It had so many good songs, “I don’t wanna party (party)”, “The Good News”, “Growing Up Alone”, “Going to the Casino (Tomorrow Night)” just to name a few.
I’m sure that both MC Bad Genius and Berkfinger will rise like phoenixes from the ashes with some awesome new band or solo projects (that’s what I keep telling myself), that will help fill the void left by the bands break up. Until then and as a tribute to the Philly Jays, I leave you guys with a clip for “I Don’t Wanna Party” put together from fans personal videos from the their hectic show at Oxford Art Factory last year.