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We’ve been big fans of Schnauser here since reviewing their album, The Sound of Meat, last year. We managed to catch them at The Croft soon after that but have missed them at their multitude of gigs across the city…until now. Schnauser, who originally hail from Weymouth, have been embracing the Bristol music scene for the past couple of years – working their asses off playing gigs, gigs and more gigs and it’s paid off as this Fleece gig. The three piece, fronted by Al Schnauser with Holly on bass and John on drums, make catchy witty indie pop. Like all good male/female duos Al and his partner Holly have that undeniable rappor onstage and Holly’s sweet vocals comment Al’s perfectly – particularly in songs such as World of Whimsy where Al croons ‘I don’t have any trouble wooing the ladies, in fact they just throw themselves in my general direction,’ to a knowing look from Holly. In places the melodies verge on the psychadelic sound of The Beatles (of whom I’ve never been a massive fan, though have never minded people covering their stuff or being influenced by them – as long as it’s not too overbearing!) or the undeniable catchy hooks of Teenage Fanclub (this gives you an idea of the pitch of Al’s voice too). There are also sniffs from the Britpop days back in the mid 90s, think The Charlatans or The Boo Radleys. The inter song banter keeps the crowd toe-tapping with big grins on their face with talk of odes to Hollywood film director Steven Speilberg (even though one excitable heckler got him mixed up with Martin Scorcese!) and other light-hearted anecdotes. All in all a wonderfully carefree, fun and tuneful gig. If you missed them at the Fleece, worry not, they play Clifton Grapes on Friday, The Grain Barge on March 18, Rise records on April 16 and Mother’s Ruin on May 12.

Words and photo: Laura Williams