Penetration featuring the inimitable Pauline Murray from a session recorded for John Peel on February 28, 1979 and broadcast on March 7th.
Formed in Ferryhill as The Points under which name they played their first gig at the Rock Garden pub in Middlesbrough in October 1976, they changed the band’s 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, they toured Europe, the US and Britain but the grueling 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.
They re-formed in 2001 with several new members.
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.
For a reminder of what they were all about in 1979, just months before splitting up – here is their 2nd (and last) session for John Peel at BBC Radio 1.