SOUNDS CLIPS : PENETRATION

I’ve come across some grand postings on social media by archivist, Stig Chivers. He’s added articles from Sounds music paper 1975-80, some have featured bands from the North East.

Penetration & Lindisfarne at Reading Festival 1978.

In 18 June 1977 issue music writer Phil Sutcliffe met County Durham punks Penetration. In a favourable interview he asked are the Northern outsiders ready to walk the same path as the London based crew of Clash, Damned and Stranglers ? In a recent interview (October 2021) Phil told me…

‘Penetration, were a quite brilliant sophistopunk band from Ferryhill, dazzling in every way with a natural star singer, Pauline Murray. Great ideas men in Gary Chaplin and Robert Blamire, plus drummer Gary Smallman and out-there’ish guitarist Fred Purser. They almost made it’.

When I interviewed Fred Purser back in December 2018 he told me…

‘When I met Penetration they had a real chemistry, the atmosphere was good so I gave it a go and we played The Marquee. It was really exciting, loved it and Virgin signed us that night on an album deal’.

Penetration in Sounds 18 June 77

A live review of a Penetration gig in Manchester appeared in 18 June 1977 issue, notable for the support band Stiff Kittens who changed name to Warsaw then changed up again and produced two great albums securing a place in rock immortality. They are widely known for their classic ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ – yes we’re talking about Joy Division.

Next on the bill was John Cooper Clarke, reviewer Ian Wood labels him ‘a genius’, Wood warms up – or necks a few more beers – and calls for ‘A&R men to take note’ of Penetration as this band ‘are killers’. Buzzcocks close the (New Wave) show.

The review is illustrated by a great Penetration pic by Rik Walton – who else! In a previously mentioned interview with Phil Sutcliffe… Rik was a good friend and the photographer of the Newcastle scene, one who worked via mild manner rather than being pushy and sharp-elbowed’.

‘You wanted Newcastle music pix, Rik was the man – except when the weeklies sent up one of the big names from London. But Rik’s pix are still valuable in every sense and he’s still the man for images of that time and place’.

For more articles from Sounds Magazine 1975-80 by archivist, Steve ‘Stig’ Chivers check twitter:  @SoundsClips.

For further posts about Sounds type in ‘Raw Meat in the Sonic Mincer’ in the blog search bar.

Read ‘Square One’ the full Fred Purser interview at:

SQUARE ONE in conversation with songwriter & producer Fred Purser | ALIKIVI : NORTH EAST UK (garyalikivi.com)

Gary Alikivi  September 2021

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