Their name was born out of a misunderstanding at the NME, Wild and Wandering submitted a demo tape with the slogan Pop Will Eat Itself to have it then reviewed with that as the band name. Taking the cue, they changed their name to fit. Releasing further singles on the Chapter 22 label, the band embraced the house and hip hop sound of the time and incorporating it in to their particular musical brand of grebo. Building on their popularity, an album, Go Box Frenzy soon followed featuring among other tracks covers of the Wild Knights track, Beaver Patrol and Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s Love Missile F1-11.
Soon after this album, the Poppies released what was to become a mainstay of their act, Def Con One and began to attract courtship from major labels. In 1989, they signed to RCA records and released another soon to be anthem, “Can U Dig It?“, a list song built around a sample of Cyrus, the visionary gang leader of the Gramercy Riffs from the movie The Warriors and namechecking such people as Alan Moore, Renegade Soundwave and the Furry Freak Brothers.
Aided visually by the Designers Republic, the Poppies were as much a brand as a band and the range of T-Shirts featuring the iconography was a common site at clubs and indie discos. The album “This Is The Day, This Is The Hour, This Is This!” soon followed featuring the previous two singles as well as the highly imaginative “Not Now James, We’re Busy” based on samples of the Godfather of Souls grunting and unique vocal stylings.
An exceptionally productive band, 1990 saw the release of another album “The Cure For Sanity” featuring another glut of singles such as Dance of the Mad, Another Man’s Rhubarb, 92Â° and one of the odder World Cup anthems, (Touched By The Hand of) Ciccilonia.
Although a very popular live act, the RCA investment didn’t seem to be paying off and after two years and the release of their third album “The Looks Or The Lifestyle?” for the label, they found themselves dropped on the eve of their biggest hit “Get The Girl, Kill The Baddies.” and went on to the peculiar position of performing on Top of the Pops while unsigned to a label.
Shortly signed up by Infectious Records, the band stepped back from the overtly pop house style and took up more of a industrial sound with political overtones on the album Dos Dedos Mis Amigos with Familus Horribulus as a dig at the monarchy and collaborating with Fun Da Mental on Ich Bin Ein Auslander. A companion remix album “Two Fingers, My Friends” followed with contributions from artists such as Renegade Soundwave, Die Krupps, The Orb, Secret Knowledge and Fluke, but by this time the Poppies were burned out and effectively spent.
Clint Mansell went on to produce soundtracks for various Hollywood movies such as π and Requiem for a Dream and probably lives in Scrooge McDuck’s mansion swimming in profits. Richard March went to form part of Bentley Rhythm Ace and plays Spinball or whatever the tethered ball on a pole thing is called.