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Blues with Attitude

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Phil Millard - Vocals and Harmonica

Singing came quite naturally to Phil at a very early age. It was a necessity, really, as his bathroom door had no lock, and it was the only way he could ensure some degree of privacy.

In the late 1980s, Wolverhampton University was still a Polytechnic, and it was here that together with Charlie Lodge, Andy Light and John Thornton, Phil launched his musical career. Supported with a dozen or more backing singers, and fuelled with copious amounts of Dequadine and Snakebite, there was only one name that really seemed to fit - The Booze Brothers! Phil was then a student himself, and audiences never failed to identify with his soulful self-penned “Exam Time Blues”. It remains in the Bricklin set today. John eventually left the Band and was replaced by Alan “Crackerjack” Crowther for a short while.

When the Booze Brothers finally drifted apart, Phil and Charlie organised a new line up with Dave Butler on bass and Ian Hart on drums. They became “The Feel Factor”, playing Rock and R’n’B standards with some Blues and original material thrown in for good measure. They gigged locally until they, too, finally split.

It was some ten years later that Phil, Charlie, Andy and Alan re-united on stage at a party. The wheels were set in motion to form what has now become the Bricklin Delta Blues Band, with Phil once again taking his rightful place at centre stage.

As well as fronting his own band, Phil has always encouraged and supported his children in their musical endeavours, and could easily have formed them into a complete band. It was only the memories of the Osmond and Partridge Families from his youth that prevented him. He is not only a superb vocalist; he is also talented as a harmonica player, providing not only support to Steve’s guitar work but also backing for his own vocals. During rehearsals, whenever there is a break and someone leaves the room, they will come back and find Phil on their instrument. He is constantly seeking to try something new, and to develop a wide understanding of what everyone else is doing. He plays a pretty mean guitar, but as yet the others in the band haven’t managed to persuade him to play it at a gig. He’s also learning to play the accordion, and that’s something else they want to see included. One day Phil, one day...........

As well as Blues greats such as Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Sonny Boy Williamson, he is inspired by Rush, UFO, AC/DC and Jack Daniel. Having musical tastes as diverse as Heavy Metal, Blues, Soul and Jazz provide him with a variety of vocal styles, and his quick and lively wit make him the archetypical front man. He is also a gifted writer and lyricist. One of the Band’s “party pieces” is to call out to the audience for a subject at random. Phil will then improvise a song – complete with rhyme – on the spot. Regular fans have a whale of a time with obscure topics. “The Development of Quantum Mechanics” remains his worst nightmare!