It’s been a while since I last saw Penetration at the Durham Punk Festival in September 2012 so when this latest tour was announced I was hoping to see them a few times along the way. As more and more dates were released it became apparent that all the dates within travelling distance (and I do travel a long way to gigs) were when I was scheduled to be working offshore apart from the Georgian Theatre in Stockton. The only other realistic gig was Derby but I was already committed to another gig at The Chocolate Factory in Derby and didn’t want to back out. I got myself a ticket ‘just in case’ and in the days before the gig, I took to twitter to try and get some time separation between the two gigs. Before travelling down I got confirmation the band at the chocolate factory was due to start at 21:30 and Penetration were due to start their set at 22:15 so doing both gigs was tight but do-able.
The gig at the Chocolate Factory finished at 22:10 so then it was a fast walk across town (I’m too old and knackered and the docs to heavy to run) and I got to the Hairy Dog at 22:25. I couldn’t hear the band but went straight upstairs, and found myself a good position to watch the band in front of Pauline about 5 rows back from the stage.
There was a bit of banter between the audience and Pauline going on about a plectrum for some reason and once that had finished they played one of their newer songs which has been a part of their set for the last couple of years, ‘The Feeling’. I thought this was a bit weak when I first heard it but have got to admit it has been steadily growing on me ever since. That was the one and only new song, everything else taken from “Moving Targets” and “Coming Up For Air” the first of which was ‘She Is The Slave’. Pauline says “We will get more new ones but we guess people want to hear the old ones and people would get very pissed off if we did a whole new set” and the band launch straight into Movement. Pauline asks the sound engineer to put a bit of echo on for the start of ‘Free Money’ and follow that up with ‘Silent Community’ and ‘Don’t Dictate’ which got the small mosh pit right at the front quite a bit bigger. A bit more banter while Pauline sat down for a breather and introduced Reunion and Nostalgia then it was straight into ‘Come Into The open’ and the main set closed with the usual ‘Shout Above The Noise’
The band walked off the side of the stage into a darkened room but came back out almost immediately. “Well here we are says Pauline, lets do a few more” and they let rip with ‘Firing Squad’ which had everyone else singing along. ‘Danger Signs’ quickly followed and the excellent ‘Stone Heroes finished the gig off.
I since found out that I only missed 3 tracks, Future Daze, Lovers Of Outrage and Sea Song.
This was one of the better Penetration gigs that I have been to, the band clearly enjoyed themselves playing the gig with Rob especially smiling and laughing. Right from the moment I walked into the room there was a mosh pit going down the front which only got bigger as the gig progressed. Not many talkers around me either with everyone’s attention fixed firmly on the band.
To the casual passer by The Hairy Dog is a bit tatty and run down so won’t get much passing trade, but don’t let that fool you, the list of forthcoming bands was huge with some pretty big names on the list, the upstairs room where they hold the gigs is a decent size at about 150 capacity and the sound where I was standing was excellent. There was a large banner outside advertising the Springhead Brewery but I wasn’t expecting much in the way of their beers to be on. How wrong was I about that, “The Leveller” and “Maid Marian” were both excellent and there was a third available as well as a hand pump not in use at the time.
I’d love to be a regular at The Hairy Dog but unfortunately that won’t happen as the stupidly expensive cost of the train ticket to Derby was three (yes 3) times the price I paid for the hotel room for the night.
I don’t suppose you can relocate The Hairy Dog about 180 miles to the north?
Use it don’t lose it Derby, you have a really good pub and venue here.
The gig was recorded by someone in the audience and can be found here: