Now Then Gadgie: By Marv Gadgie, 149 pgs. By Steve Larder

Apr 27, 2012

I’ve been vocal in the past about my admiration of Marv’s writing in his zine, Gadgie. This book is a collection of anecdotes and autobiographical accounts of a life rich with mischief, a wry eye, and attention to detail.

Marv has an extraordinary skill in crafting stories which are both engaging and vivid, whether it be tales of his youth growing up in the North-East of the U.K., or the tender moments that reside within a family. His current location of Boston, Lincolnshire has provided many amusing observations for him to fill up over twenty-plus issues of Gadgie, but I have an inkling that exterior influences such as location wouldn’t alter Marv’s keen perception in spotting the magical in the mundane.

Punk rock, and specifically the (sadly) currently defunct venue, The Indian Queen pub has provided much entertainment to those who have been fortunate to visit. A brief example of why I appreciate Gadgie zine is that Marv’s documentation of gigs over the years have helped build networks and construct an international reputation in a way that makes it seem almost like anthropology. Except, of course, Marv is usually deep within the fracas itself, rather than studying the surroundings from a safe distance. One of the reasons I’m fond of zine culture is that they create legacies and Gadgie is the perfect example of this. If we don’t preserve our own history then who will?

I might as well admit that I’m biased when I praise Now Then Gadgie (I’ve known Marv for a while now), but it’s also a sincere recommendation. I’ve had many fond memories and laughs through Gadgie zine. If you’re not familiar with the author’s previous work then in a nutshell, I can vouch you’ll enjoy it if small towns, childhood adventures, cultural trends of the 1980s, and being a punk rock parent tick any of your boxes. (Corndog Publishing, PO Box 773, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 9FT, England)