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.