North Tyneside Council presents Seaside Special: PENETRATION & The Middens
Friday 16th October
The PLAYHOUSE is thrilled to announce that North Tyneside council presents Seaside Special: PENETRATION, with support coming from The Middens on October 16th, this year. Punk Rock Phenomenon Penetration, who are playing a limited number of shows this year are thrilled to be headlining the “seaside special” that will see local band The Middens showcase their youthful vibrant style of new wave/mod influenced rock. Don't miss the chance to see a unique band with a long and interesting history play songs from their new album as well as old favourites.
Penetration were formed in Ferryhill Co.Durham at the very beginning of the punk rock phenomenon. They released their first single, the punk classic Don’t Dictate in 1977 on Virgin Records and were an exciting live band respected by both peers and dedicated fans. Their first album Moving Targets was released in1978 to critical acclaim and commercial success as the band had expanded both musically and creatively. The bass ,drums and two guitar line up became a distinctive feature of Penetrations’ sound and Pauline Murrays fearless yet vulnerable vocals fitted perfectly with the anthemic and sometimes complex song arrangements. . The band toured constantly and after a five weeks tour of America, they returned to record their second album Coming Up for Air in 1979. The album, produced by Steve Lillywhite was rushed and caused pressure within the band but featured great songs like Come Into the Open and Shout Above the Noise. Fans were shocked when the band announced that they were splitting up after their UK tour late1979.
Murray and bass player Robert Blamire continued to write together and teamed up with legendary producer Martin Hannett to record the proto dream pop single Dream Sequence with the Invisible Girls in 1981. Later that year they released the seminal album Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls. Robert Blamire also produced the highly acclaimed Scars album Author Author!
After losing their recording contract with RSO Records at the end of 1981, personal life changes and disillusion with the music industry caused Murray to turn her back on music at the age of 23. When she eventually started to write again she became fiercely independent and released singles and the album Storm Clouds on Polestar Records, set up with partner Robert Blamire. In 1990 she set up Polestar Studios, a music rehearsal and recording facility in Newcastle Upon Tyne, which celebrates its 25th year this year.
In 2002, Pauline was persuaded by former members to reform Penetration. Of the original members, only Murray, Blamire and drummer Gary Smallman remained. Guitarists Steve Wallace and Paul Harvey (who appeared on the Storm Clouds album) augmented the line up. They played many live shows and regularly appeared at Britains’ largest punk festival, Rebellion. They recorded two 7’ singles but were reluctant to record a new album.
In 2015, Blamire organised a campaign with crowd funding site Pledge Music for the band to record an album, their first in 36 years. The response was overwhelming and the album Resolution, is released in September. John Maher (Buzzcocks, Invisible Girls drummer) has joined the line up and original guitarist Fred Purser has assisted in the recording process and makes a guest appearance on the track Beat Goes On. The album retains the essential components of Penetration but brings the sound up to date and sees them moving forward.
About The Middens
Known for a superb live show, full of energy, blending punchy rock with a new wave beat, The Middens appeal to a wide demographic and have been quoted in national music magazine Vive Le Rock as being part of the 'New Mod' genre. These four young and eminently capable lads from North Shields, seem to defy their youthful looks with their mature and vibrant style of New Wave/Mod influenced rock, executed brilliantly with passion and verve. The band have steadily built a following having been playing together for around five years, yet they have only recently turned 18.
In 2014 their exciting potential was recognised by Rob Blamire of Punk/New Wave band Penetration, who recorded and mixed a handful of demo tracks for them.
The gigs continue to come in for The Middens in 2015. After headlining two showcase gigs for Brighton based End of The Trail Records up in the bands native north east, they also played for the label in Brighton in conjunction with talent breeding ground, The Great Escape Festival, and they return to Brighton on the August Bank Holiday weekend supporting The Spitfires at the Prince Albert.
Red Red Robin - Additionally, The Middens were approached in January by their local amateur football team, North Shields FC, to record a cover version of a song originally written in 1926 which was a No1 for Al Jolson. The song Red Red Robin has been given a superb contemporary feel and was used as the official 'Road to Wembley' song for the club, who incidentally went on to win the FA Vase at the hallowed Wembley Stadium in May 2015.
Exciting things are happening for these boys, who continue who continue to turn heads, both locally and nationally.