LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…today it’s the best thing to come out of Preston since the brutalist but beautiful grade II listed bus garage, a band called The Common Cold. They feature someone very familiar to the pages of Velvet Sheep, Ajay Saggar (Donkey, The Bent Moustache, Deutsche Ashram, King Champion Sounds etc) who formed the band with friend and former Dandelion Adventure band mate Mark Wareing. They first played together 30 years ago, bonded by a love of psych, and now they’re back and they feel very 2018 with an album called “Shut Up! Yo Liberals!” out on Action Records (who’ve previously released albums by Ajay’s favs The Fall).

The album combines the acerbic wit of the Sleaford Mods, and shouty aggro of Underworld, with the dancey Dave Bush / Funky Si Phonogram era of The Fall, plus the insistence of the Burns / Hanley double drum axis (or the drive of Thee Oh Sees) and seems to have some Preston bus garage inspired artwork on the sleeve (and most definitely on the press shot). It’s the debut album of the year without doubt not to mention one of the anthemic songs in “Stop The Traffic” and of course the infectious band name!

I don’t need any excuse to get a band with Ajay in on these pages, but The Common Cold are urgent and exciting and it gives me great pleasure that they’ve serviced us with a catchy list of songs they dig…

1. The Fall – Frightened
Could have been any early Fall track. Each recording I heard took me somewhere new  – comic / d.i.y / art / punk and when I read their interviews they came across like they didn’t give a shit. They also dressed like my Dad……………..which made it a very cheap fashion look for me.

2. T.V. Personalities – Part Time Punks
I was going to pick something from “All Mod Cons” by The Jam but this band nailed the English art school sound for me / simple lyric writing that you didn’t need a dictionary to work them out and what they were going on about. So many of the bands I liked in the late 70s and early 80s were spit and sawdust done on 4 track or in cheap studios etc / folk like The Buzzcocks / Swell maps / Undertones / these are the groups that made me want to form a band, not The Velvet Underground I hadn’t cottoned on to them this early in my musical education.

3. Thunderclap Newman – Something In The Air
Another English gem. Every time I hear this track it takes me back to long summer days in Manchester getting wrecked watching the planes land at the airport from a friend’s attic window. When I watched “The Magic Christian” it made even more sense. The middle break does for me every time. Love it.

4. My Bloody Valentine – You Made Me Realise
I had the pleasure of watching this band grow up close hand / played shows with them and must have seen them play 20 odd times before this track came along / really beautiful in its creation. The HORROR the HORROR what power still gives me goose pimples / classic.

5. Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger And The Trinity – Indian Rope Man
BANG / this is another wonderful track Saturday night dancefloor filler / Dave {Common Cold} and myself ran club nights in Preston for many years putting bands and discos on / when this got played I’d race from the box to the floor to shake a leg / what a groove love them to bits. When I finally saw Brian play he was great and could still knock the crowd for six.

6. Jimmy Smith – The Cat LP
Another monster Saturday night Sunday morning comedown l.p mental and mellow ssweet vibes one minute over the top with whistles the next / I’ve always loved the Hammond sound whether it be The Seeds / Booker T / gospel etc I’d always pray at the church of the keys wow forgotten just how much I love JIMMY SMITH .

The Lucky 7th: The Common Cold ………JOCK
Unrecorded at the moment hymn to sound / We just finished touring / Jock was a sound guy that we came across down South / the real deal screw loose Phil Spector geezer WALL OF MUSH the on stage sound was like a warzone – his own private hell taking place in full view of people who did not love or know him. Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts eat your heart out – keys hanging from fifty plus bottle openers, sewn off shirt sleeves to show off bad tattoos and PA speaker stack scars from past wars / he even mixed from a mobile phone…..knob
I’m pushing it boys I’m pushing it. Marcus Parnell 2018

In the meantime, while we wait to hear “Jock” which will no doubt be curmudgeonly chaos, here’s the aforementioned “Stop The Traffic” which is an arresting treat…

The Common Cold have been ripping it up all over the regions recently, but while waiting for another live fix, do yourself a favour and get hold of “Shut Up! Yo Liberals!” at Action Records on this link…