THE finely crafted songs and funky grooves of Steely Dan will hit Worcester when a county band plays the city.

The Fezz are a five-piece band who aim to capture the spirit of the American group who shot to fame in the 70s and are renowned for classics such as Reelin in the Years and Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.

However, as bassist Colin Warren, who hails from Malvern, points out they’re not a tribute band but more of a homage to the jazz/rock legends.

He said: “We don’t do the dressing up in wigs and glasses thing, that would be silly! It’s all about the music.

“Also, we’re a five-piece band – when Steely Dan tour there are normally about 12 musicians on stage, including a horn section and backing singers.

“We haven’t got the four-piece horn section and the glamorous backing singers, but we have got the infectious grooves and the legendary guitar solos.”

The rest of The Fezz comprises lead singer and guitarist John Denton, from Malvern, guitarist Alan Davies and keyboard player Robin Powell, both from Eckington and drummer/singer Morris Windsor from Gloucester.

The band’s name comes from the Steely Dan track, The Fez, which appeared on the 1976 Royal Scam album. Colin and his crew added another z to differentiate themselves from a Steely Dan tribute act in Iowa.

It seems there a lot tribute acts out there to the band who were founded in 1972 by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.

Becker died in 2017 but Steely Dan still tour.

Colin said: “There has been a proliferation of bands playing the music of Steely Dan in recent years such as Nearly Dan, Simply Dan and Steely Don.

“It’s like every medium-sized town now has its own Steely Dan tribute band – Malvern has two!

“The songs are challenging, but great fun to play.” The band all share a love of Steely Dan’s music.

Former law lecturer Alan played in a band called The Soft Boys with drummer Morris in the 70s.

Alan came up with the idea of playing Steely Dan songs and the band formed in 2014.

As Colin stressed, a lot of Steely Dan fans may be of a certain age but a younger generation are starting to appreciate their music as they have been sampled by hip-hop artists such as De La Soul and Kanye West.

He summed up Steely Dan as a unique combination of intricately crafted songs, often involving complex chords and structures, funky grooves, intelligent, sardonic lyrics and top-notch musicianship.

As for the Fezz, they have played local festivals Eckfest and Lakefest and venues such as the Sociable Beer Company and the Marrs Bar, previously in Worcester.

So what can gig-goers expect at the Marrs Bar, Pierpoint Street, on Saturday, February 22?

Colin said: “We make no promises, but it should be a fun night of great music, all for less than the price of a coffee and a blueberry muffin.

“As regards the songs we’ll be playing, there will be a selection of Steely Dan classics such as Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, Kid Charlemagne, My Old School, Peg and Reelin’ In The Years, as well as some lesser-known gems.

Also on the bill are Lost Cat, a three-piece consisting of two saxophones and drums – featuring well-known Malvern stained glass artist Jackie Harris and also singer/guitarist Reuben Pearce.

Tickets are available on the Fezz website, or Marrs Bar, Tickets are £6 in advance, £8 on the door.