|Origin||Ferryhill, County Durham, England|
|Years active||1976–1980, 2001–present|
|Associated acts||The Invisible Girls|
|Website||Official web site|
|Past members||Gary Chaplin
The lead singer is Pauline Murray. Other members have included Robert Blamire, Gary Smallman, and Gary Chaplin, and later Neale Floyd and Fred Purser. Steve Wallace and Paul Harvey were drafted in as new guitarists in 2001.
The band took their name from an Iggy & The Stooges song and played their first gig in October 1976. 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, they toured Europe, the US and Britain but the gruelling schedule began to take its toll. A disappointing reaction to Coming Up For Air, the second album, was the final nail in the coffin of the original band. After the band split in October an official bootleg album called Race Against Time was released, which was a collection of early demos and live tracks.
In 1980 Pauline Murray collaborated with The Invisible Girls, which also included Robert Blamire as well as other Manchester musicians such as Vini Reilly, guitarist in The Durutti Column, and Steve Hopkins. John Maher from Buzzcocks drummed for the band. Produced by Martin Hannett, the resulting album spawned the singles "Dream Sequence" and "Mr.X". Murray also provided guest vocals for The Only Ones on their track, "Fools".
Pauline Murray worked sporadically as a solo artist under the name 'Pauline Murray and The Storm' with Robert Blamire, Tim Johnston and Paul Harvey. Paul Harvey is also a Stuckist artist. Blamire also worked as a producer for various groups, including the Scars, whose sole LP (1981's Author! Author!) he produced.
The remainder of the band briefly continued under the name Rhythm Clicks, releasing a 7" single in 1980 on the Red Rhino label containing the songs "Short Time", "Lies Don't Talk" and "Chains".
|“||A decidedly more "rawk" proposition than many of the three-chord trainee anarchists on the scene, Murray drawing inevitable comparisons with both Patti Smith and Siouxsie Sioux for her force of personality and the strength / style of her voice.||”|
- Moving Targets (October 1978: V 2109) First 15,000 copies on luminous vinyl # 22 UK Albums Chart
- Coming Up For Air (September 1979: V 2131) # 36 UK
- Race Against Time (Official bootleg) (October 1979: Virgin / Clifdayn PEN 1)
- Don't Dictate: The Best of Penetration (March 1995: CDOVD 450)
- "Don’t Dictate" / "Money Talks" (November 1977: VS 192) Re-released in 1983.
- "Firing Squad" / "Never" (May 1978: VS 213)
- "Life’s A Gamble" / "V.I.P." (September 1978: VS 226)
- "Danger Signs" / "Stone Heroes (Live)" (April 1979: VS 257) Also released, with an additional track "Vision", as a 12 inch single.
- "Come Into the Open" / "Lifeline" (August 1979: VS 268)
- List of British punk bands
- List of musicians in the first wave of punk music
- List of Peel sessions
- Music of the United Kingdom (1970s)
- Mojo (October 2001) – 100 Punk Scorchers, Issue 95, London
- Joynson, Vernon (2001). Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk. Wolverhampton: Borderline Publications. p. 269. ISBN 1-899855-13-0.
A pulsating punk song. One of the best in a year of many gems. It's anti-authoritarian message was ideal for 1977.
- The Guardian (November 2007). 1,000 Albums To Hear Before You Die. London.
Penetration's debut alienated their punk following, but, looking back now, it documented the tensions of the era. They were Tyneside punks with a heavy metal guitarist – future Tyger of Pan Tang Fred Purser – whose sonic battles with the band's punk faction makes singer Pauline Murray's doom-laden warnings sound even more urgent and compelling.
- Thompson, Dave (2000). Punk. Ontario: Collector's Guide Publication. p. 87. ISBN 1-896522-27-0.
- Thompson, Dave. "Review of Moving Targets on Allmusic".
Penetration's debut album stands among the very last true greats of the first wave of British punk offerings. A glorious collision of adrenalized exuberance and astonishing energies, topped by Pauline Murray's unmistakably soaring vocals.
- Larkin, Colin (1994). All Time Top 1000 Albums. Enfield: Guinness Publishing. p. 244.
Their debut single, the excellent "Don't Dictate", which came out in the autumn of 1977, set the tone and a widely regarded reputation for their punky enthusiasm. With this, their debut album, that appeared the following year, cementing their critical acclaim.
- Joynson, Vernon (2001). Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk. Wolverhampton: Borderline Publications. p. 269.
- ‘Penetration: Re-animated!’ David St Clair talks to Pauline Murray
- Thompson, Dave (2000). Punk. Ontario: Collector's Guide Publication. p. 62.
- Penetration’s John Peel Sessions on BBC Radio 1
- Joynson, Vernon (2001). Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk. Wolverhampton: Borderline Publications. p. 270.
- Strong, M.C. (2003). The Great Indie Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate. p. 112. ISBN 1-84195-335-0.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.