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Poppy Factory - JPop.com
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Poppy Factory

Poppy Factory

Poppy Factory


Emerging in 1991 from the Bradford/Leeds area of West Yorkshire, Poppy Factory were a classic pop group. They were: Jock Cotton (voice, guitar, words), Michael Dale (keyboards and bass guitar) and Jon MacDonald (keyboards). In their early recordings at Patchbay Studios in Leeds they were more than ably assisted by sound engineer and producer Dave Creffield, a kind of Yorkshire Martin Hannett , but a lot friendlier, thinner, easier to work with and without the accompanying drug/alcohol problems - Dave was a strict nicotine and coffee man. Read more on Last.fm
Emerging in 1991 from the Bradford/Leeds area of West Yorkshire, Poppy Factory were a classic pop group. They were: Jock Cotton (voice, guitar, words), Michael Dale (keyboards and bass guitar) and Jon MacDonald (keyboards). In their early recordings at Patchbay Studios in Leeds they were more than ably assisted by sound engineer and producer Dave Creffield, a kind of Yorkshire Martin Hannett , but a lot friendlier, thinner, easier to work with and without the accompanying drug/alcohol problems - Dave was a strict nicotine and coffee man. He was already working with popular Leeds band Cud, who were also beginning to get noticed. Dave and Poppy Factory hit it off, and his intelligent, innovative production became an essential part of their sound.

It was Dave, for instance, who suggested they use various 'kitchen sink' utensils as percussion on '7x7 '. The group were renowned for their inventive live shows, featuring bizarre automated art works by The Art Junkies (who combined discarded 60's fridges with neon lit lobsters) whilst the group and friends provided projections of early French Surrealist films, 70's cinema ads, upside down shots of tigers in Regent's Park Zoo and nicked clips from '2001 - A Space Odyssey" shown on several TV's, along with traditional dry ice and lights. And DJ Julia played the current cool records before the gig. Poppy Factory were managed by Bradford based company Far North Music, and personally managed by Gordon Roscoe, who was hugely instrumental in getting the group signed. After only two local gigs, the group signed to Chrysalis Records in 1991 and also Polydor Publishing.

Three singles followed - '7x7', 'Stars' and 'Fabulous Beast'. An LP, 'goodtime' was recorded, but never released by Chrysalis. Poppy Factory's remarkable '7x7' single was made NME Record of the Week, with Steve Lamaq (now on BBC Radio 6, but then an NME journalist) being a notable fan. Mark Goodier, the Radio 1 DJ, was another strong supporter, and the group recorded a session for his, and other Radio 1 shows.

With its memorably ironic "Call me Charlie Bubbles!" refrain, inspired by the film 'Charlie Bubbles' (1968), starring northern icon Albert Finney, "7x7' alludes to the final scene in the film, where Finney, torn apart by marital problems and despair, climbs into the basket of a hot-air balloon and 'escapes' from the world. Contrary to some opinions expressed at the time that the group's name was inspired by opium addiction or that it simply meant 'pop factory', it was actually taken from the title of a paperback novel about the First World War that Jon had noticed and suggested they use. So the pop group had a name that really meant Death Factory. Well, they were a bit Situationist....

Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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