Penetration is a punk rock band from County Durham, formed in 1976. They re-formed in 2001 with several new members. Fronted by distinctive singer, Pauline Murray, their debut single, “Don’t Dictate”, is now acknowledged as a classic punk rock single and their debut album, Moving Targets (1978), is still widely admired.
Formed in Ferryhill as The Points they played their first gig at the Rock Garden pub in Middlesbrough in October 1976, after which they changed their name after a 1973 song by Iggy & The Stooges. Their second gig was supporting The Stranglers at Newcastle City Hall. Significantly, the band also played at the now-legendary punk club The Roxy during its first 100 days. On 9 April 1977, the band appeared on the same bill as Generation X. Early in their career, the band also supported The Vibrators and toured with the Buzzcocks.
After the release of their second single, Penetration recorded the first of two sessions for John Peel at BBC Radio 1 in July 1978. Later that year, the band released their debut album. Moving Targets was number 6 in the Sounds Critics’ albums of the year; and it made number 13 in the NME critics’ chart. In 1979, Penetration toured Europe, the US and Britain but the gruelling schedule began to take its toll and, following a disappointing reaction to second album Coming Up For Air, the band split in October.
In 1980 Pauline Murray collaborated with The Invisible Girls, which also included Penetration member Robert Blamire as well as other Manchester musicians such as Vini Reilly, guitarist in The Durutti Column, Steve Hopkins and John Maher. Produced by Martin Hannett, the resulting album spawned the singles “Dream Sequence” and “Mr.X”, with a further non-album single “Searching for Heaven” released in 1981. Pauline’s solo work was compiled and repackaged by boutique reissue label in 2016.
Penetration reformed for shows in 2001 which turned into a permanent thing and have since played Rebellion Punk Festival in Blackpool many times. In 2011 Pauline Murray established Polestar Studios with Robert Blamire in Byker where bands can rent out rehearsal and recording space and Penetration released an acclaimed album of new material called Resolution in October 2015. The current line-up of the band is Pauline Murray, Robert Blamire, John Maher (ex-Buzzcocks drummer), Paul Harvey and Steve Wallace.
The Mardigras Bombers
Coming from up Lancashire way, Mardigras Bombers are yet another top-notch act on the impressive STP Records. If you’ve ever wondered what an album would be like if you took a punk rock grounding and threw in smatterings of early Iron Maiden, dashes of The Who and a pinch of white reggae you’d get something along the lines of ‘Come On In!’ And that’s only a taster of what musical joys are held within this album.
VUKOVAR return unmitigated in the line-up alterations and promoting their new LP “Monument”; the out-living of the shades incarnation, and all the unnatural disasters that go with it, is perhaps the only logical path for this illogical/frenetic/jilting pop act. There were no vital signs anyway. The lineup is unclear. However, based on all previous evidence, whatever happens on the night will be remarkable, for better or for worse…
VUKOVAR formed in 2014 in a crumbling placefiller town in the North West of England and set about creating their own world within an otherworld. In their short yet eternal time, they have been relentlessly productive; ‘Monument’ being the 6th full LP after their highly well-received previous 5: ‘Emperor’, ‘Voyeurism’, ‘Fornication’, ‘Puritan’ and ‘Infinitum’.
They have had among their ranks Rose McDowall (STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE / PSYCHIC TV/ COIL / CURRENT 93), collaborated with and 80’s b-movie star Dawn Wildsmith, worked with world renowned hyper-realist Andrzej Klimowski, and actor, TV writer and man of all round good taste Graham Duff and others. Monument comes as a double-vinyl album in a gate fold sleeve, pressed on 180mg magenta vinyl with full colour inner sleeves and a CD of the album included as a bonus in a full colour slip case. This remarkable package is housed within stunning new artwork by Cashmore himself and is mastered by Michael Lawrence (CURRENT 93). ‘Monument’ lives up to its title, an essential release by two artists at the peak of their creative powers moving on ever forward in increasingly surprising ways.
Nothing is demanded, save for thy time, temperance and tolerance.
PENETRATION is here, with THE MARDIGRAS BOMBERS & VUKOVAR on Friday 1st February, 2019. Doors open at 8pm.
Tickets are £14 advance and are available online NOW from from WeGotTickets, Skiddle & SEE Tickets
From Continental bar (01772 499 425) & Action Records (01772 884 772)