Friends, Tell Me I Am Crazy

Here’s an anomaly amongst the already askew skankings contained herein; I’m pretty sure this is the only punky reggae number which drifts into jazz-time at the drop of a hat.

For those that don’t know, Penetration were a punk rock band, with a heavy emphasis on rock. Fronted by Ferry Hill local Pauline Murray, comparisons with other lady-led groups such as The Banshees and Blondie were both sloppy and expected. In the case of Too Many Friends however, there’s a distinct hint of Debbie’s delivery whilst the backing conjures the rock reggae thud of The Stranglers’ Peaches before ascending into a quasi-jazz swing, offset by Murray’s cries and screams.

From what I recall, this was Penetration’s only foray into Reggae (and jazz for that matter) but in their later Invisible Girls guise, they supplied John Cooper Clarke with a few spiky steppers as a backdrop for his brand of performance-punk-poetry – something I’ll delve deeper into in future but until then, come closer, look into my eyes…

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