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Don't Dictate to an Invisible Girl Punk icon Pauline Murray publishes her autobiography, Life's A Gamble

Don't Dictate to an Invisible Girl

Punk icon Pauline Murray publishes her autobiography, Life's A Gamble

by Ancient Champion, Columnist
first published: July, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

"It is a joy to read her long awaited life story and unique perspective of those legendary times and beyond. Essential reading!" - Gaye Black, The Adverts

Pauline Murray coverPAULINE MURRAY
Life's A Gamble - Penetration, Invisible Girls and Other Stories
September 14th, 2023

Pauline Murray is best known for the original and innovative music she made with her punk-influenced band, Penetration, one of the first provincial punk bands out of the gate in 1976. Pauline much anticipated autobiography, Life's a Gamble - Penetration, Invisible Girls and Other Stories, is published on September 14th, by Omnibus Press. 

The melodic snarl of Penetration’s 1977 debut single, Don’t Dictate, established Pauline as a feminist icon. The subsequent LP, Moving Targets, showcased the band's massive musicality, songwriting craft and the ambition of Pauline's vocal style. It still sounds great and interesting decades later. My copy, magically, looked like it would glow in the dark. Can’t remember if it actually does. Although it is one of the few punk records that I still have. The others... Oh well. You know how that goes. Listening to Penetration is a salutary reminder that raw rock music was once, and therefore can again, at some point, be truly exciting.

Penetration achieved some critical and commercial acclaim, but by the 1980 Pauline was working with Martin Hannett on the Invisible Girls project which also featured the likes of Vini Reilly and John Maher of the Buzzcocks. 

Later Pauline got together with the Only Ones, most remarkably for Fools the fab duelling duet with Peter Perrett. Her career has continued down the decades with solo albums and Penetration reunions with little let up. 

Life's A Gamble chronicles Pauline’s life in music, illustrated with previously unseen photographs and drawing on notes from teenage diaries, interviews and material from her personal archive. It offers a bracing insight into the life of a punk rock legend.

Pauline is supporting the book’s September publication with a tour of intimate UK venues. Each show will include live music, readings from the book, Q&A sessions and Pauline will sign copies of Life's A Gamble too. These are cool and I would say unmissable events of punks fans.

The dates are below:
September 2023
10th Durham          The Holy GrAle
11th Manchester     YES
13th Glasgow         G2
15th Bristol            Rough Trade 
17th London           Stereo
18th Portsmouth     Wedgewood Rooms
19th Birmingham    Kitchen Garden Café
21st Newcastle       The Common Room

Essential Information
Life's A Gamble can be ordered here⇒

Ancient Champion

Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT while relentlessly recording and releasing instrumental easy listening music for difficult people. The Champ is working on Public Transport, a new short story collection that takes up where 2021's Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere (Disco City Books) left off. It should be ready in time for the summer holidays. More info at

about Ancient Champion »»



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