The night is kicked off pretty promptly by Fans of Faye, a five-piece from Birmingham. Despite being a small, local band with under 1000 followers on Twitter, they sound polished - they don't miss a beat or hit a bad note. They definitely know what they're doing, and they're having fun doing it. Fans of Faye are one to watch.
Glasgow's Arches hit the stage next. Like Fans of Faye, they sound like they've had a lot of time to perfect their music and it really pays off. Their indie rock is infectious and begs you to grab a copy of their EP, 'Broken Clocks'.
Bleach Blood, from London, describe themselves as "dance punk", and there's something about them that reminds me of Taking Back Sunday circa 2002. They have a lot of energy and they're almost certainly leaving with a few new fans.
I can imagine it's more than a little disheartening to walk on stage to find a crowd of fewer than 50 people have turned up to see you. Unfortunately, only two rows of people are present to greet NATIVES as they start their set, so the atmosphere wasn't quite what it could have been. I'd love to say this had no effect on their performance, but the liveliness that oozes out of every track on their album 'Indoor War' is severely lacking tonight. While the songs sound good, and the small crowd sings along to the words they know, there's no fire. Regardless, it's nice to see a band happy to come out at the end and sign CDs for those who turned up - they're always chatting to fans on Twitter and letting supporters know they're appreciated.
I'd love to see NATIVES again, because I'm certain they can put on a killer show when there's a few more people present. I'm sure that, with time, they'll sell out venues bigger than tonight's Birmingham O2 Academy 3, and they deserve to.