Montreal’s Canailles first got together in the summer of 2010, working out traditional québécois and Cajun songs among the green shadows of Parc LaFontaine. Two years later, they’re one of the city’s greatest francophone groups, and one of the few to cross over into anglophone territory: In addition to this year’s SXSW, the group played four raucous shows at notorious Lafayette, LA, nightspot the Blue Moon Saloon this spring, and they regularly prime crowds across anglophone eastern Canada.
Though they sing in French, their charm is practically a cognate. Rocking and stomping commes des frères Felices, Canailles’ songs, like those of their cultural forebears, were written for dances and outdoor gatherings; when I saw them last week at a barbecue in Montreal’s Parc de la Petite-Italie, they led a crowd of middle-aged québécois ladies and Mile End hipsters through a clomping line dance. Check out “Bien-être,” a standout from this year’s Manger du bois, and get to steppin’.. words/ m garner