Penetration gigs in the North East 1977 and 1978

Penetration gigs in the North East 1977
penredcar In my opinion, Penetration were the best local punk band around in North East in the late 70s. Marie and I went to lots of their gigs, seeing many of their performances from early 1977 onwards. The gigs all blur into one now, but I remember seeing great gigs at Newcastle Poly, Newcastle Guildhall, the City Hall (as support and headlining), Middlesbrough Rock Garden (lots of times; Penetration were a big favourite there), Redcar Coatham Bowl, and probably some other places (maybe Sunderland Seaburn Hall, Newcastle University?) who knows….as I say its all a blur now. What I do remember are some great songs, and Pauline Murray’s performance which was always stunning. The early Penetration (and for me the classic line-up) featured Pauline, Gary Chaplin on guitar, Robert Blamire (R) on bass, and Gary Smallman on drums. I recall listening to them played on the radio for the first time; I think it was Duty Free Technology, and thinking how great it was that local guys had made it! And I got to know all the early tracks well before any were released on vinyl. Those early gigs included Don’t Dictate, Money Talks, Firing Squad, Never, Silent Community, VIP, Duty Free Technology, and of course their excellent version of Patti Smith’s Free Money. penetrationprog We would often run into Pauline and the rest of the band at punk gigs in Newcastle and the Rock Garden. The way in which they caught early Pistols gigs, and how that influenced them to form the band is well documented. Penetration in turn were a big influence on the North East music scene and on many local bands. They built up a solid following locally and gigged all over the country, becoming quite a “name” band, to the extent that they were one of the first punk bands to play the Reading festival in 1978 (another great gig). I remember their first gig with Neale Floyd, who replaced Gary Chaplain on guitar in early 1978. Fred Purser joined shortly afterwards and brought a heavier rock style with him. I recall going out and buying their lp Moving Targets (on luminous vinyl šŸ™‚ ) when it came out in October 1978. All great memories. The ticket here is from a later gig at Redcar Coatham Bowl on 8th December 1978. Support act on that night were Teesside punk heroes (and Rock Garden regulars) Blitzkrieg Bop. The programme has a picture from their Reading Festival performance on the front cover, so must date from late 1978 or from 1979. I’ll reflect on some specific Penetration gigs over the next few days.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Penetration a great local band, saw them at the rock garden at middlesbrough a few times, they usally brought a gang of ardent followers wth them.
    The rock garden probably the best punk venue in the north east, a bit lairy at times!!!


    • Posted by vintagerock on July 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      I have great memories of the Rock Garden. PS I was one of the ardent followers of Penetration šŸ™‚ Peter


      • Posted by vintagerock on July 10, 2014 at 7:29 pm

        PPS Welcome to my blog Steve.Hope you enjoy my ramblings Cheers Peter

  2. Posted by vince haley on August 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    penetration first punk band I saw, sorry mistake it harry hack a the big g, it was at the poly after that things got so more exciting


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