Friday, November 09, 2007

'Punk's Not Dead?' part 2- Penetration

For our next installment we journey to The 100 Club for a performance by Penetration of their first album 'Moving Targets'. I first saw them at, you guessed it, Brunel University in Uxbridge sometime in, I think, 1978. I remember them as being very good though I didn't like them as much as, say, Eddie and the Hot Rods; then again whenever I've heard them since I've been struck by how well it's weathered next to much of the music from that time. But how will it sound today?

More about them in a minute. Support came from Teasing Lulu, 2 young ladies and a young gentleman who began their first song before the soundman had got into position, resulting in them having to stop the song until he'd switched the vocal microphones on- a shaky start which didn't seem to bother them in the slightest. 'We've got a new single out' said the cheery girl bassist, as the lad on drums tried frantically to repair his broken snare drum wires and I mused on how much (or indeed how little) she reminded me of Gaye Advert. A guy danced wildly down the front, putting any other potential dancers off in the process such was the ferocity of his cavorting. What they lacked in stage presence they more than made up for in nonchalant punky spirit. Worth seeing.

No stage presence problems for Penetration- Pauline still does that 'walk backwards and forwards across the front of the stage' thing that she used to do, and doesn't look a lot different to how she did all those years ago. By the second number 'Life's a Gamble' it's all sounding pretty good; 'Lovers of Outrage' is as complex a song as I remember it to be (why do people still think that punk bands couldn't play?!?) and by 'Nostalgia' the place is going mad. They finish with the singles- 'Danger Signs', 'Don't Dictate', 'Come Into The Open'- which all sound to me like forgotten classics whilst at the same time sounding oddly contemporary, like if they came out now people would be raving about them. A fabulous performance.

After the gig I say hello to Gaye Advert and T.V. Smith- Gaye says she'd 'never have worn a skirt like that' and T.V.'s signing Adverts bootleg albums. Womble and Manny are at the bar- Manny used to book The Price at Bumbles in Acton back in the mid-'80's and Womble, incredibly, is still in The Decadent Few. Some people change and some people don't, but punk's not dead, and here's the proof. Don't let anybody ever tell you that it is.

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