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 acclaimed.
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 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 LTM last year.
Penetration reformed for shows in 2001 which turned into a permanent thing and have since played Rebellion Punk Festival in Blackpool many times. Penetration released an acclaimed album of new material called Resolution in October 2015. The current recording line-up of the band is Pauline Murray, Robert Blamire, Paul Harvey and Steve Wallace. John Maher (ex-Buzzcocks drummer)
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