Berlin Bromley: Bertie Marshall. Book Review.

Berlin Bromley.
Author: Bertie Marshall.

Bertie Marshall’s memoir Berlin Bromley documents his time during the punk revolution when he was a member of the notorious Bromley contingent. It’s an honest book that documents an important time in music’s history. Joe Donnelly read the book in one day & gives us a brief review below.

I started this rare book very early this morning and finished reading its 207 pages only a few minutes ago.

Theres a very good chance that you might not recognise the name ‘Bertie Marshall‘ but take a look back at those cutting edge first sighting punk fan photographs of the much maligned ‘Bromley Contingent’ from 1976 and you’ll see him posing hand on hip for all he’s worth in amongst that notoriously pretentious group of fashion victims.

If you have more than a passing interest in youth culture you really should make a point of reading this startlingly honest and very entertaining pill popping, line snorting, prostituting , punk rock memoir of a narcissistic gay teenager circa 75-77 (and ocassionally beyond) as theres a treasure trove of insider information printed on these pages.

Bertie Marshall was right in there at the birth of a teenage revolution that still reverberates many years later in 2012, but due to some misguided lifestyle choices (and unlike his soon to become famous friends) he still managed to miss out on his big chance.

Its about time this book had a reprint and a relaunch.

All words Joe Donnelly. More articles by Joe can be found here.

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  1. Why does the reviewer describe this as a “rare” book? It’s anything but rare, and is readily available both secondhand, and new from the publisher. That said, it’s a really enjoyable book – from a less-known, early punk face – and with a different angle to the usual memoirs of the day. It’s also an attractively produced volume – a hardback with a pictorial dustwrapper – a shame there are no photographs within. Preface by Boy George. Good job for reviewing it!


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