Penetration Newcastle City Hall December 1978 and October 1979

Penetration Newcastle City Hall December 1978 and October 1979
pen78 Penetration played two memorable headlining concerts at Newcastle City Hall in December 1978 and October 1979. The 1978 concert was to promote their glorious first album “Moving Targets”. Support came from Punishment of Luxury and Neon. Punishment of Luxury were building their own following at the time, and were quite unique in their approach. Although their music undoubtedly grew out of punk, their spiky staccato art-rock had much more depth to it, and their performance were very theatrical (they had been members of a local theatre group), with use of masks and dance, lead by front men Brian Bond on vocals and Neville Luxury on guitar. Punilux (as they were known) had released the single “Puppet Life” in Summer 1978. Penetration were achieving national success at the time of this show, with Pauline and the guys often popping up in Sounds and NME. This concert was both a coming home and a celebration of their success, demonstrating that they were now of sufficient standing to headline the great hall where so many big acts had played, and where they had supported The Stranglers and The Buzzcocks only a year or so before. The set consisted of all the old favourites and tracks from the first album, including such great songs as: Life’s a Gamble, their cover of the Buzzcocks Nostalgia, Lovers of Outrage, and Movement. pen79 Penetration returned to the City Hall almost a year later. I can’t fully recall who the support act was; my memory tells me it may have been local band The Angelic Upstarts. This time Penetration were promoting their follow up album, ‘Coming Up For Air’. This was part of a full UK tour which visited all of the major venues on the circuit. But things were not right within the Penetration camp, and on stage that night Pauline announced to our shock, “This is the last gig that this line up is ever going to do here… I think everything’s got to change after a while”. I was sitting a few rows from the front, but remember not quite catching what Pauline had said, and not wanting to believe that we were witnessing the end of Penetration. They played the rest of the set with a level of passion and emotion like never before, to a hall full of fans who were simply stunned by her announcement. Penetration went on to complete the tour, including another local gig at Dunelm House, Durham which I attended, and their final gig at The Nashville in London. And there you had it. The end of a very under-rated band who were much more than simple punk. Pauline returned to the City Hall a few years later as Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls, and in recent years Penetration have reformed. But for a couple of years Penetration were out at the front of the local and national music scene, and gave us some great gigs to remember. Setlist from a gig on the last tour: Shout Above The Noise, Life’s A Gamble, She Is The Slave, Life Line, What’s Going On, Movement, Lovers Of Outrage, Party’s Over, Too Many Friends, Killed In The Rush, New Recruit, On Reflection, Nostalgia, Come Into The Open, Danger Signs, Free Money, Don’t Dictate. The following songs were recorded live at Newcastle City Hall in Dec 78 and Oct 79 and appear on the official bootleg: Come Into The Open; Movement; Lovers Of Outrage; She Is The Slave; Too Many Friends; Killed In The Rush

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tim Johns on December 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Neon were a great local band; I thought they were destined for bigger success (John Peel championed their debut single), but it didn’t happen.


  2. Posted by Mick Jones on April 4, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I’m sure the support at the 1979 Penetration gig was Cowboys International, who at various times included Terry Chimes, Keith Levine and Marco Pirroni in their line up. Not sure if any of them were in the band that played the city hall though.


    • Posted by vintagerock on April 5, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Thanks very much Mick That rings a bell with me You could well be right Best wishes Peter


  3. Posted by Jayvee on December 8, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I’m wondering if I saw Penetration twice. I saw Punilux supporting someone and the poster above is def correct that Cowboys International were support in 79 and I remember the announcement. 100% agree mthey were underrated. Their albums were produced very poorly (muffled) If you get hold of the peel sessions you get a much better underatdning of their sound.


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