London Highbury Garage

[a]Brassy[/a] might be Manchester-based, but thanks to [B]Muffin[/B]'s boxing-gear-clad presence, the attitude is all New York...

The force is strong with the Spencer family. Not content with having produced Jon to thrill us with his Blues Explosion, Ma and Pa Spencer have also given us his sister Muffin.

So Brassy might be Manchester-based, but thanks to her boxing-gear-clad presence, the attitude is all New York. Which, added to the extended break which saw them disappear after a couple of singles, seems to have done their sleazy art-punk considerable good. This time around, Brassy are frequently great. Like her brother, Muffin is a compelling performer. So even when Brassy's attitude out reaches their ability, she steers them clear from Elastica leftovers.

And, thanks to that New York state of mind, she's taking them in other directions too, mixing in beats, scratching and the flavours of old-skool hip-hop. True, it results in daft skits where they chant their name incessantly, but it also throws up the indelibly cool 'Buffalo Girls' punk of 'Work It Out'.

If the gifts of poetry left onstage are any indication, the kids have already taken this latest addition to the Spencer musical dynasty to heart. Which only begs the question - are there any more like you at home?

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