Natives + Bleach Blood + Arches + Fans Of Faye, O2 Academy, Birmingham 22/03/14

Tasked with opening the show to a sparse crowd was Brummie band Fans of Faye whose indie rock tunes went down a treat right from the start.
Fans Of Faye
The band gelled together really well and possessed a justifiable confidence, so despite the size of the crowd it was a great start to the evening.
Next up were Glasgow’s Arches, who played a seemingly flawless set and held the audience’s attention throughout with tunes full of powerful lyrics and gripping hooks, creating a really uplifting atmosphere in the room.
Bleach Blood
The final support act was Bleach Blood. Their catchy, punky tunes had electro undertones and singalong choruses, perfect to bounce around to – so perhaps a bit lost on tonight’s small crowd. They were the most energetic and enthusiastic band of the night so far, musically tight and clearly loving what they’re doing.
Finally it was Natives’ chance to take to the stage. Their debut album Indoor War has only been out for a week, but with the adoring fans singing along on the front row it’s clear it’s been well received. Album track ‘The Horizon’ was a powerful opener, especially when they went to a percussion breakdown – every band member hitting a different drum had an incredible effect.
The set was polished to an incredible standard, and it was clear every member was putting their everything into the show. Frontman Jim’s vocals seemed effortlessly smooth, backed by striking guitar riffs and powerful drum lines, and the stage presence made it a great show to watch.
What Natives do best are big, catchy choruses, and there were plenty of those going round – singles ‘Stand For Something’ and ‘Can’t Say No’ were a particular hit with the audience. Sooner than anyone would’ve wanted the short set is over, ending with upbeat album closer ‘For Everything’ before the band rush out to meet and chat to fans – a truly humbling thing to see.
Photographs by Verity Milligan