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Meanwhile Suuns, Braids and PS I Love lead the way in annual Canadian new talent showcase

The Dears played a one-off hometown show as the annual M For Montreal music festival reached its climax last night (November 20).

The band played the city’s Metropolis venue, bringing to an end of four days of gigs that showcased a host of Canadian artists, at various venues throughout the city.

Playing with a new look line up, The Dears previewed tracks from their forthcoming album ’Degeneration Street’, including new song ’Blood’.

“We are the mother-fucking Dears,” declared frontman Murray Lightburn, who even donned a keytar for one of the new songs.

Having battled through a few sound difficulties in their short set, the Montreal band wrapped things up with crowd favourite ’Lost The Plot’ from 2004’s ’No Cities Left’.

The night also witnessed performances from local favourites including the likes of Misteur Vakaire and La Patere Rose.

Following performances last year from the likes of Fucked Up and Melissa Auf Der Maur, the 2010 M For Montreal had got underway a few days earlier on Wednesday (17) by inviting two international festivals, Iceland’s Airwaves and the UK’s Great Escape, to programme a short bill at Montreal’s Campus venue.

The former brought Retro Stefson over from Iceland, while the British event chose the locally-based Braids, fresh from being one of the most talked about bands at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon this year.

The festival’s second day (18) saw the music relocating to the multi-staged Just For Laughs venue as Canadian acts took centre stage.

Elephant Stone opened the night but it was Kingston, Ontario duo PS I Love You who stole the show. Gaining acclaim from local fans and the international delegates alike, the pair performed tracks from recent album ’Meet Me At The Muster Station’.

The evening was wrapped up at Montreal’s On The Rocks club night across town, which included a set from British DJs Brilliant Maniac, who had flown in for the festival.

The next night (19) saw highly rated Montreal newcomers Suuns lead the way at the Just For Laughs venue. With their debut album ’Zeroes QC’ due out early next year, the likes of ’Gaze’ and anthem-in-waiting ’Arena’ were performed.

Earlier, four-piece The Barr Brothers had played a harp-augmented set that veered from the folk rock of Bright Eyes to a blues assault reminiscent of The Black Keys, while hardcore trio Metz provided another highlight.

Now in its fifth year, M For Montreal mixed live performances with a series of music industry panels and discussions throughout the week that involved delegates from across the globe, including KissGene Simmons who has launched new talent record label, Simmons Records, aimed at Canadian bands.

The bassist, who was also filming for his reality TV show The Family Jewels while in Montreal, was not only on hand to talk about his plans for the future of the music industry, but also helped to pay tribute to the event’s co-founder and Glastonbury festival booker Martin Elbourne by presenting him with a lifetime achievement award on behalf of the festival’s organisers.

M For Montreal is now set to host stages at next year’s South By South West and Great Escape festivals.