Poppy Factory first came to my attention via their inclusion on a compilation tape put together for me by Jacques the Kipper.

The song was called Little Princes and it was one of the b-sides of a single called 7×7 that was released in 1991.  It captured my imagination enough to entice me to pick up a copy in a bargain bin a few months later, along with two other singles by the band.  I spent the princely sum of £2.97 on the three bits of music (two 12″ singles and one CD single) which turned out to be their entire recording output.

History informs us that Poppy Factory, from the Bradford/Leeds area, were a trio consisting of Jock Cotton (vocals/guitar), Michael Dale (keyboards/bass guitar) and Jon MacDonald (keyboards). There was a music industry buzz about the band and after a handful of live shows, which by various accounts were highly entertaining, they were signed to Chrysalis Records.  But within a few months it had all gone sour and after the three initial singles had flopped – despite being praised in the likes of the NME and getting decent amounts of plays on the early evening shows on BBC Radio 1 – the plans to release an already recorded debut LP were shelved and the band were let go.

Michael Dale would later be part of Cud for a very short time in the mid 90s before finding fame and possibly fortune as the keyboard player with Embrace , a band that has enjoyed a fair amount of commercial success in the UK since 1997, even if the critics haven’t always been kind.

Here’s the three Poppy Factory singles:-

mp3 : Poppy Factory – 7×7
mp3 : Poppy Factory – Little Princes
mp3 : Poppy Factory – Drug House (24 hour mix)
mp3 : Poppy Factory – 7×7 (kitchen mix)

mp3 : Poppy Factory – Stars
mp3 : Poppy Factory – Goodtime (demo version)
mp3 : Poppy Factory – Your Strange Heaven (live)

mp3 : Poppy Factory – Fabulous Beast
mp3 : Poppy Factory – Strawberry Fool
mp3 : Poppy Factory – Acceleration
mp3 : Poppy Factory – Dreamsick

There’s worse bands made a career out of poorer quality songs than this lot.  Drug House is a nice piss take/tribute to Madchester/Happy Mondays.



  1. Thanks JC – some years ago the track ‘Acceleration’ featured on a free cassette with some magazine – I think it was Lime Lizard Magazine although it might have been Select. Anyway, for years I have been looking for it. Its a tremendous track thanks for rekindling my affection with it.

  2. Hey! Mick(ey) here. Thanks for the great write up. I have loads of Poppy Factory demos etc. I’ll dig out the old DAT machine and maybe get them all up on a band camp page.

  3. 7×7 one of my personal favourites, and it was Lime Lizard tape, also featuring The Blue Aeroplanes and Kingmaker, they were a great set of tapes with some cracking stuff on.

  4. Thanks for the comment Mickey. Always blows me away when one of the musicians involved contributes something….and it’s good to see I wasn’t the only reader who has a soft spot for Poppy factory. If you do get the demos sorted out then please let me know so that I can provide a link.

  5. I was always gutted that nothing more ever got released. It seems that the industry was cruel like that, just spitting bands out, and they were def better than many that plied heir trade in that era, great to see some love for them.

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