Penetration formed in 1976 when four friends decided to form a band in reaction to the burgeoning Punk movement in Britain and America. Pauline Murray, Robert Blamire, Gary Smallman and Gary Chaplin all came from the same village, Ferryhill in County Durham.
Rehearsals began, and in less than a year they'd released their first single, the punk classic "Don't Dictate". Gary Chaplin left the band during the recording of the second single, "Firing Squad", to be replaced by Neale Floyd. Soon after, a second guitarist was added, Fred Purser. A year later, after signing to Virgin Records came the landmark first album "Moving Targets". A complete revelation, this was the record that set the standard that other New Wave bands had to follow, although at the same time this music couldn't be categorised; it seemed to come from nowhere but the band themselves.
Other singles such as "Danger Signs' followed that cemented their growing reputation. It was their live performances though that set them apart. Their intensity and aggression, allied to a high standard of ability made them a very special band.
A second album, "Coming Up For Air" followed in 1979, which yielded one of the best ever singles from that time, "Come Into the Open". They toured Britain, Europe and America, and then, just three years after they formed, it was all over. You pay for that amount of intensity.
Pauline Murray and Robert Blamire went on to form the Invisible Girls with Martin Hannett, releasing an album that again paved the way for future artists to follow.
After that, there were only sporadic appearances from the both of them, most notably with Paul Harvey and Tim Johnston as "Pauline Murray & The Storm", releasing a fine album in 1989 that went against the grain of the music at that time.
Then there was nothing... until 2000, when a CD appeared of Roky Erickson covers entitled "Hallowe'en 2000". Pauline and Robert were back. Then suddenly, so were Penetration. Getting together again with Gary Smallman, the three original members began to play the songs, joined by guitarists Paul Harvey and Steve Wallace. What began as simple enjoyment somehow turned into the real deal.
Friday 26th April 2019
Price: £13 adv