The Deviants 1

THE DEVIANTS – Andy Colquhoun
It is inaccurate to call Andy Colquhoun a side man as I originally did in the Facebook post; he would be better described as a collaborator with Mick Farren and is a full-fledged, latter-day bandmember (mostly on lead guitar) in Farren’s band the Deviants (originally the Social Deviants).  For example, on the excellent 1996 CD Eating Jello with a Heated ForkAndy Colquhoun co-wrote 5 of the 9 songs with Mick Farren.
Long before Andy joined up, the Deviants were one of the leading “underground rock” bands; their 1967 album Ptooff! is a classic in that little known genre.  The band sprang up in the British psychedelic melange that spawned Pink FloydTomorrow, Hawkwind and several other like-minded bands; the epicenter for the scene was the UFO Club (pronounced “oo-foe” in an interview of Farren at the club that is on one of their CD’s).  The Deviants’ music is a dense stew of proto-punk, psychedelia and blues rock, with percussion and voice loops and screaming and a host of other effects.  The album cover on Ptooff! is also a treat, with a water-color science-fiction scene and a remarkable collection of quotes, including a corruption of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that appears on the back cover:  “When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake!!”
The Deviants were also strongly left-wing politically, and their songs feature unabashed screeds and sharp social commentary.  Check out this candid declaration that introduced their third album, The Deviants #3:  “We are the people who creep in the night / We are the people who hide from the light / We are the people who pervert your children / Lead them astray from the lessons you taught them / We are endangering civilization / We are beyond rehabilitation.”
In about 1970Mick Farren formed the Pink Fairies with Steve Peregrin Took – formerly the other half of Tyrannosaurus Rex with Marc Bolan, who then shortened the name to T. Rex – and Twink, the drummer for a terrific R&B band in 1964-1965 called the Fairies; he was also in Tomorrow and drummed for the Pretty Things for a while.  The Pink Fairies had the same great sound as the Deviants sans the politics, though Farren dropped out almost immediately and kept his earlier band alive instead.
Andy Colquhoun returned the favor to Mick Farren by playing bass and performing some vocals for an EP called Screwed Up that was released on Stiff Records under the name Mick Farren and the Deviants.  In 1978, Andy was one of the bandmembers backing Farren on a really nice solo album with a great title, Vampires Stole My Lunch Money Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of Pretenders also performed on the album 18 months before their first album, Pretenders came out.
In 1996Andy Colquhoun and Mick Farren hooked up again for a Deviants reunion album, Eating Jello with a Heated Fork (the cover photo shows a human brain next to a glowing silver fork).  That was the first Deviants album I had purchased since the original three came out 25 years previously or longer – and was it a sound for sore ears!  I just about played that CD to death, and I have picked up close to a dozen more albums by Mick and the guys since then, in a variety of bands and permutations.
Over a 25-year time span, as recounted on his website, www.andycolquhoun.comAndy Colquhoun had been in numerous bands in addition to hanging out with Mick Farren and the Deviants.  From this body of work, he pieced together his first solo album in 2001Pick up the Phone, America!.  Between Captain Trip Records and the Bomp! Records label Total Energy, virtually the entire Deviants/Mick Farren catalogue is now happily back in print. 
(August 2011)
Last edited: March 22, 2021