Up-and-coming London artist L.A. Salami kicked off the show with a short and snappy set. A talented performer, he moved easily from vocals to harmonica, without missing a beat in his guitar playing.

He showed off his considerable song-writing skill in songs like 'When the Poets Sing' and 'Loose Around the Mind'. However, if there’s one complaint, it’s that the songs he chose to perform blended quite easily into one another. There needs to be a little more tonal variety to keep the audience engaged.

That said, he’s a young performer. If he keeps working at his craft, there’s no reason he won’t experience success as a male Laura Marling, with his subtle political observations and tight songwriting.

Following L.A. Salami, Nina Violet took the stage. She played a three song set that was more notable for its volume than anything else. Again, one can’t escape the feeling that the talent is 100% there, but the songs themselves don’t quite measure up.

Finally, Willy Mason took to the stage with nothing more than his guitar. Despite the bare bones of the set-up, he made his presence felt as soon as he started playing.

He really benefited from the peculiar set-up of the 12 Bar Club. As with SXSW main stage Stubbs in Austin, the audience is divided into two levels, and the height of the stage is in the middle. As a result, it’s nearly impossible for the singer to make eye contact with anyone, which, combined with the general moodiness of Mason’s music, made for a very ethereal experience.

He closed a remarkable set with a duet with Nina Violet, which only proved what a great artist she might be with better songs to support her voice.