Fucked Up and Melissa Auf Der Maur play M For Montreal music festival

Three-day event showcases Canadian music scene's new talent

Fucked Up and former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur led the way as Canadian music festival M For Montreal reached its conclusion (November 21).

Showcasing a selection of new and established talent from across Canada, the three-day event was rounded off by the Toronto punk band as they headlined at the Metropolis theatre in the Quebec city.

Taking to the stage to footage of the band winning the Polaris Prize – Canada’s equivalent of the Mercury Prize – in September, Pink Eyes and co were on raucous, flesh-baring form right from the off.

With a small circle pit forming at the front of the stage, the frontman decided to liven things up, delivering his vocals for most of the set from inside the crowd, letting members of the audience share the mic as he moshed along with them.

Earlier Auf Der Maur played a heavy set that previewed tracks from her long-awaited second solo album, which she promised would be released next year telling the crowd: “Before the snow melts it will be in your house!”

The bassist, backed by two guitarists and a drummer also played several songs from her 2004 solo debut album ‘Auf Der Maur’, including ‘I Need I Want I Will’ before thanking the hometown audience with a simple: “Merci my Montreal dreamers!”

The night also saw an appearance by Canadian heroes Champion And Ses G Strings which featured the epynomous DJ ‘conducting’ five guitarists and a vocalist through a pulsing series of crowd-pleasing grooves.

Along with established names, including You Say Party! We Say Die! who paused their current tour to play on the event’s opening night (November 19) at the Juste Pour Rire venue across town, M For Montreal boasted a selection of up-and-coming acts.

Among those also playing on the first day were post-punks Luyas, who featured occasional touring members of Arcade Fire, one-man band Miracle Fortress – whose new material mixed Jimmy Somerville-esque vocals with a raved-up indie similar to The Big Pink – and acoustic duo The Rural Alberta Advantage.

Highlights from the second night (22) included Inuit chanteuse Elisapie Isaac who played a small chapel, while back at Juste Pour Rire the girl/boy fronted Silly Kissers played a set of sythny 1980s indie pop before the militant puzzle pop of DD/MM/YYYY.

There was also a series of panels supplying advice to local musicians and a showcase of French language acts on the final day (22) that included the band Geraldine who all took to the stage wearing ski masks.

Organised with assistance from those behind Britain’s Great Escape and Glastonbury festivals, the fourth year of M For Montreal attracted music industry representatives from around the globe, along with fans from Montreal itself.

For more from the 2009 event see Mpourmontreal.com.