Much of Steely Dan’s music oozes California sunshine. Which is odd because Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are born-and-bred New Yorkers. But here’s something odder – jump a further 3,000 miles east and you find a new bunch of Dan-alikes, who are actually more Leigh-on-Sea than LA.
I say “bunch”. Actually, I don’t know how many people make up Essex retro pop-rockers The 1957 Tail Fin Fiasco. Perhaps they are also like Steely Dan in being a duo with a host of ultra-talented guest musicians. Perhaps they are a collective of orchestral proportions.
I do know they sound a lot like Steely Dan, with hints of 10cc and perhaps some Squeeze. Which, for those of us of a certain age and with certain tastes, can’t be bad. Their debut album, Private Jet Flashback, was released earlier this year. You can download it here for whatever you want to pay, along with the more recent Cruise Control EP.
But my email questions to dig a little deeper didn’t get me very far.
Could they tell me who the band members are? No – for legal reasons.
Have they had much radio airplay? They don’t know – they get very poor radio reception in the bunker. “For all we know we’re number one in Lithuania.”
Their influences? Oh, an answer: “Steely Dan, Randy Newman, Squeeze, The Band, 10cc, Todd Rundgren….they’re the men.”
Is the guy in the Clean Break video one of you guys? Or an actor? “It’s not one of us. It’s Vince Gear-Gaitor Senior. If you meet him, don’t fight him. We’d be scared too, but he’s one of us. So yes, it’s one of us.”
Do you play live, by the way? “We do, and we will. Her Majesty has granted that the ancient by-law that has restricted our public access up to now is no longer applicable. As such, we will be playing live in the Spring 2014, and driving sheep up the Aldwych.”
So now you know as much as I do, but here’s a more intelligent review from a more intelligent person at Real Gone.
And I leave you with this fun track because it namechecks Georgie Fame, and features some of the grooviest dancers I’ve seen for a while, daddio: Jackie & Norm & The Hairdresser to the Star.
If you like this sort of music, you may be interested to read about my problem with a Toto lyric.