Steven McBean's Pink Mountaintops were in town in support of recent third album Outside Love - and hot from an appearance at the ATP Festival. After storming shows from the Black Mountain mothership last year, McBean is worth catching in any guise and this was no exception.
Perfectly suited to the Canadian-ski-shack-meets-Mexican-bolthole vibe of the Borderline, album opener Axis: Bold as Love opened the show, with the six-man band working as a great base for post-skater McBean (that hidden key chain is a dead give-away) to lead with his great voice. The subtle ebbing and flowing of the at-time hypnotic sounds was easy to get lost in, through tracks like Vampires, And I Thank You and Plasticman, You're The Devil - while older tracks like Sweet '69 and Single Life provided a more up-tempo element, displaying the band's wide range.
Amber Webber's vocals were sorely missed, but team stand-ins Sophie Trudeau and Sar Friedman did an admirable job - with the violins proving to be a rare secret weapon and the additional back-up vocals really filling out the bands sound. Add to that the great drumming and Black Mountain regular Matt Camirand's pounding bass and what's not to like? With the curfew police closing in, the band returned to the stage for a single encore - possible career highlight Tourist In Your Town.
In a style much like their recent album, Pink Mountaintops were laid-back, effortless and engaging - providing a (temporarily) welcome antidote to the relentless precision of big brother Black Mountain. Superior entertainment.