There's no finer or more fitting way to see in the autumn than watching men and women with acoustic instruments get excited on a stage. It's always a relief that no matter how harsh the oncoming winter feels or how bad the early sunsets seem you can always find a place to watch bands surrounded by men with better beards than you and hair longer than your girlfriends'. Takes one back to the folk gigs my dad used to take me to when I was younger (which I resented at the time, but perhaps maturity and a few ales give me rosier tinted glasses).

Tonight's gig is about the return of Laish, one of Brighton's many talented niche exports, before their UK tour. Walking up the stairs to the peculiar back room vibe of The Hope (not unlike The Barfly in Camden if you're more capital orientated) it felt like a homecoming with an air of closeness being exuded from the crowd. Not an aloof air I should clarify, but one where strands of social networks joined and one bearded man with a scarf was introduced to one with a different colour scarf by an airy looking blonde lady who knew the airy looking brunette lady that came with the other beardy scarf face.

I don't know an awful lot about tonight's support bands, and I'm not sure I have the vocabulary to actually describe their music having very little background in folk. The first chap whose name escapes me played by himself on an acoustic guitar and sounded impressive, doing all the twiddley stuff with his fingers while sounding slightly like The Acorn. Nice/10. The second support, Maia scored a similar rating, their particular highlights being one that sounded like The Travelling Willburies and one that sounded like Richard Manuel era The Band.

Laish themselves, despite a few technical hitches and the fire alarm going off, plaid a blinder to finish it all off too. Quite how a band such as these guys can play the sort of indie folk rock Slow Club, Mumford et al. have wet dreams about producing and aren't huge I'll never know, but there we have it. It's nice in a way to have these bands that you can fall in love with and keep, though as nice as it is standing in a tiny back room watching them ply their genial, Andrew-Bird-but-indie trade, I'd rather see them take the plaudits of a wider audience that are dying to hear expansions of their beloved heartmelting new folk.

If I'm frank, I probably won't listen to Laish much at home but that's a completely different debate. Would I see Laish again if they played? Well, every man needs some niceness in their lives once in a while.