Oscar nominee headlines M For Montreal

NME.COM reports from the Canadian showcase

Oscar nominee Beatrice Bonifassi closed the first M For Montreal showcase with a performance featuring singing for DJ Champion and his G Strings.

The star contributed vocals to the title song of the eccentric animated movie ‘Belleville Rendez-vous’, performing at the Oscars in 2004. Tonight (October 31) the jazz singer was performing with DJ Champion and his G Strings. The performance was an original mix of Orbital-style uplifting rave and Mogwai/My Bloody Valentine-style wall-of-sound guitars from five guitarists topped by the jazz-inflected vocals of Bonifassi – known locally as Betty.

DJ Champion, DJing from a laptop appeared to ‘conduct’ the guitarists individually in a dazzling mix of rave, waves of guitar and diva-esque vocals. Only a day before had won the Best Writer/Composer/Performer Award at Quebec‘s ADISQ awards.


The night’s biggest success, however, was Patrick Watson. In a 40-minute performance his three-piece evoked the coffee shop spirit of the heyday of Jeff Buckley and the haunting Tom Waitsian sea shanties with his mercurial voice and charismatic performance.

The rest of the showcase was equally thrilling. The confusingly named Galaxie 500 – not the late ’80s indie kings, but a new band – catchy power riffing was only topped by The Besnard Lakes‘ combination of Fleetwood Mac harmonies, Smashing Pumpkins dynamics, Sigur Ros atmosphere and almost Beatles-esque bass melodies.

Elsewhere at the gig, showing the best of new Montreal music, The Lovely Feathers combined the pop nous of Buzzcocks with the fractured angularity of The Futureheads; The Mission District showed there’s plenty of life in the ’80s – featuring Cure-style basslines – while Taima‘s vocals were reminiscent of Mazzy Star at their most haunting.

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