Words and photo by Mark Booth

There was a handsome reward in store for punters looking to escape Brighton’s autumnal chill with Real Estate’s single-handed attempt to bring an Indian summer to the Ballroom’s opulent surroundings.

Spectrals were up first though, and justified their billing as one of the most exciting embryonic talents in the country with their brand of dream-poppy star-gazing. With a couple of the fresh-faced members sporting football shirts (lead singer Alex in genuine replica Barcelona shirt, drummer in market stall AC Milan knock-off), you could be forgiven for expecting Neanderthal garage rock from this Leeds band, fortunately this is well wide of the mark – there’s a maturity and an assuredness that belies their years and would sit snugly on a pre-Oasis Creation Records roster. They’ve put themselves in decent circles quickly too, with upcoming dates alongside some of the indie rock illuminate including Steven Malkmus, Wild Beasts and Girls. They’re also tight with the night’s main event, New Jersey residents Real Estate.

Rightfully winning no end of new fans from their superb latest release, the band rattled through an immaculate recital of Days most immediate tracks, plus a few of the better moments from conquests past. In a live setting this is a band whose expert songwriting really comes to the fore. There’s real subtlety to their craft, rarely deviating from a fluid sound that less picks you up and shakes you than melts over you as verse and chorus dribble into one another to gorgeous effect. Alex Beeker’s meandering bass lines punching when they need to, Matthew Mondanile’s reverb-laden breaks adding a sun-ripened hazy quality that took the audience a millions miles away from the blustery Brighton night just metres away.

They appear to be a serious group of boys when they take to the stage, hardly uttering a word between songs but they began to loosen up about half way through as Monanile assumed vocal duties from lead singer Martin Courtney for Wonder Years. Courtney’s glasses come off for the encore and there’s more tapping of feet breaking out in the room – sure, it’s not exactly a Husker Du gig with torn shirts and bruised toes, but there’s more than a few smiles and nods of heads and there can’t be much wrong with that. 'Green Aisles', 'It’s Real' and 'Fake Blues' are particularly instantly hummable songs that won over a packed-out ballroom who received the encore they demanded.

I had an RE teacher at school who used to bollock anyone who described anything as "nice".

“Biscuits are nice, flowers are nice,” he’d rage - but it’s a word that instantly springs to mind after a brush with Real Estate. I personally don’t mind “nice”. There’s room for “nice”, Real Estate are “nice” (in your face, Mr Gibson).

Real Estate probably aren’t going to change your life, they probably won’t ever be your favourite band but on this evidence, you’d have a heart of stone if you weren’t at least glad that they exist.