It was thirty-seven years ago that Penetration last played in Liverpool, and a mere twenty-six years since Pauline Murray played at the city's Royal Court Theatre with the Invisible Girls, of whom our Wayne Hussey was a member. It is also thirty-seven years since 'Coming Up For Air' was released, but now they are touring once more with a PledgeMusic funded album, 'Resolution', in tow.

Lights dim and smoke chokes as Penetration's ubiquitous bass player Robert Blamire leads the band into 'Instrumantra', and a be-hatted Pauline Murray weaves her way on stage wafting away the dry ice and launches into 'Betrayed' from the new album. What is immediately apparent is Murray's voice may be an octave or two lower, but has lost none of the stridency that always made her a forceful and compelling front woman.

There are half a dozen or so songs from 'Resolution', before we move into what Murray calls "more familiar territory". The new songs lose very little in comparison with the older material, combining the Penetration trademark elements of attack and melody. A stand out moment was 'Aquila', "a song about an eagle".

Before long, we are transported back to halcyon days by 'Life's a Gamble', 'Firing Squad', 'Don't Dictate' and 'Danger Signs', all of which are hailed like long lost friends.

Since the demise of the much loved Kazimier, there is a need for more intimate venues and the Magnet is ideal. Let's hope it won't be so long until Pauline Murray graces a Liverpool stage again, maybe even to play with the Invisible Girls again? That would really be something.

Photographs by Darren Aston

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