Tributes to Trendies frontman who died after album release

Colin Thomson.

The former frontman of a legendary Tayside punk band has died just days after his group’s 40-year-old debut album was finally released.

Colin Thomson, known to friends as Piece, passed away at his home in Perth after an eight-year battle with Huntington’s disease, a degenerative brain condition.

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The Trendies in their heyday.

The 59-year-old, who latterly toured across Europe with the Weather Prophets, began his music career as singer and guitarist with punk rock pioneers The Trendies.

In April this year, the band released their debut self-titled album, previously recorded at REL Studios in Edinburgh in 1978. All proceeds from the CD go to Scottish Huntington’s Association, the only charity which provides vital support for people living with the condition.

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The Trendies bassist Steve Sweeney, right, with manager Ron Whytock.

Colin was found dead at his flat in Jeanfield Road just days later.

Sister Irene said he had refused to let his condition get the better of him, but his health declined sharply at the end of last year.

He was diagnosed in 2009, just at the time his brother Peter died of the same condition.

Born and raised in Kirriemuir – where he attended Reform Street School and Webster’s High – Colin moved to Burrelton, Perthshire, with his family at the age of 12.

He attended Coupar Angus junior school, as it was then known, before studying at Perth High.

He left to work as an apprentice for the gas board.

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A rare shot of the Trendies in action.

As a youngster, he took an interest in playing his father’s accordion, but his heart was set on getting his own guitar. He was also a keen drum player.

Trendies manager Ronnie Whytock said: “I first met Piece in the late ’60s and ’70s, and a lifelong friendship was formed, going to gigs and spending all our spare cash on records and gig tickets.”

Together, they travelled across Scotland to watch the great and good including Queen, Jethro Tull and Eric Clatpton. There were also “legendary” excursions to festivals at Reading and Knebworth.

“I remember him buying his first electric from Billy Coburn (bass player) in Wilkies. From that first Saturday afternoon listening to him play, his talent was never in doubt.”

He said touring with the Trendies across Scotland and London were “some of the best times of our lives”.

Trendies bassist Steve Sweeney added: “We were connected to Piece musically over many years in numerous bands, but more than that we were a family, not blood family but the kind of family you become as part of a band of brothers, having shared thousands of miles in the back of Transit vans going to and from gigs.”

Colin later worked as a carer for Capability Scotland and entertained his clients with his guitar. He was also looking forward to his niece Lynne’s wedding in September.