“Montreal is the greatest city in the world!” proclaims The Stills‘ Tim Fletcher halfway through their triumphant hometown set at Osheaga “‚”and this song is about that,” he adds before the dark lords of Quebec’s music launch into ‘Being Here’.

Now, Fletcher might actually have a point, because this wonderful city – like a perfect piece of France parachuted into North America – hosts one giant party during the summer months. Because the winters are so disgustingly cold in Montreal, as soon as the sun comes out there are music festivals galore in this wordy, worldy city of culture, and set in a charming park on a little island in the middle of the St Lawrence, Osheaga is one of the picks of the bunch.

Our highlights from the two days include Cursive, whose Nebraskan angst-rock is offset by trumpets and politeness, and Norwegians Miike Snow (pictured) – a genuine revelation that could have been so much like a poor man’s Metronomy and yet deliver a live set sparkling with hooks.

Yeah Yeah Yeah‘s have upped their live game to the point where they are now more than ready to headline festivals – and this they do, standing in for the Beastie Boys at the last minute and dazzling the crowd with their shifty yet sublime hipster indie, laced with more disco than ever these days.

Whatever you may or may not think about the technical merits of what Girl Talk churns out, the boy can sure put on a show too, and seeing 150 Canadian kids dizzy with excitement, dancing on stage to his mismatched mash-ups certainly brings on a smile.
Was there chaff? Of course. Arctic Monkeys‘ new song heavy set was turgid and dull, rather like their new haircuts wot Alexa told them to get. Rufus Wainwright played solo and failed to entrance. And, quite honestly, we’d prefer to never have to listen to any more La Roux for a long time – we heard them out, but we won’t be back.

But in truth Osheaga is as much about experiencing the madness and energy of Montreal as anything else, and nothing expresses that better than Crystal Castles, from down the road in Toronto. Screaming and writhing, Alice Glass is as electric as ever – pointing to what’s so great about Canada and its music scene right now.