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Sunday September 21, 2014
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Millish

 

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fiddle-prodigy type with a friendly smile and confident chops. They delivered a solid, fun-spirited, beautifully prepared set of tunes filled with unexpected twists and turns. As with most Irish bands, the music is often played in sets, with one tune weaving into the next — except that with Millish there's little doubt as to where one tune ends and the next begins. The lovely "Dinner at the Duncans' " morphed into a spooky and nameless Bulgarian hymn ("We don't know the name of it because it was written in Bulgarian") filled with ghostly guitar effects. One tune even turns into Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." At first it's a joke, but one that the band quickly takes very seriously, churning out quite an impressive version, complete with Bering's inventive drum solo. What a pretty song.

Ghostly guitar effects? Drum solos? "Stairway to Heaven"? It does bear mentioning that except for Bering, long a fixture in Ann Arbor's music scene, Millish is indeed a youthful band. Mason's twenty-one; Duncan and Phillips are certifiable teenagers. But just when you start nodding indulgently, Millish one-two-punches you with Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk," Celtic style.

My notes, scrawled in the dark and sometimes illegible, describe something Millish does as sounding like "a Lilliputian traffic jam." I can't quite remember what it was, but I think I'll be going back to find out.

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