Pop Will Eat Itself: Wising Up and Diggin’ It

Pioneering genre-blenders Pop Will Eat Itself (PWEI), one of the most innovative British bands that emerged from the alternative music explosion of the late 80’s/early 90’s, are about to make their way to Australia for a highly anticipated run of shows, including a first up stop at The Triffid in Brisbane on Thursday, 8 March.

Known for their influential fusion of dance/rock/hip hop/industrial and sampling styles, ‘The Poppies’ (as fans affectionately refer to them as), are renowned for their full throttle, high energy live performances, and the current line-up of the band features long time original member Graham Crabb, as well as a rare appearance from another original Poppie, Richard March, who later went on to form Bentley Rhythm Ace. Co-vocal duties these days (together with Crabb) are handled with aplomb by Mary Byker, of Gaye Bykers On Acid and Apollo 440 fame.

I recently had an enlightening chat with Graham Crabb himself, and having been regular and welcome visitors to these shores in their 90’s heyday (as well as more recently), ‘Crabbie’ is once again chomping at the bit to reward both long time and new fans alike with another dose of PWEI live mayhem.

“The crowd always works well for us in Australia. It’s a key place for us really. We’re definitely looking forward to getting back to play to you again. We love coming over, so they didn’t need to ask us twice.”

I asked him how the recent addition to the touring line-up of original member Richard March came about. “He’s a pretty busy guy really. He does full time teaching and he manages other bands as well. He joined us for a gig we did in the UK last year. It felt good so we asked him if he’d like to do the Australian dates, and he said yes, so happy days.”

But the exciting news doesn’t end there, with the legendary Jim Bob, one half of another much-loved band from the era, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, providing a tour support act of the highest calibre. It’s been over 20 years since Carter USM played these parts, so any chance to hear classic numbers such as ‘Sherriff Fatman’, ‘After The Watershed’ and ‘Bloodsport For All’ is an opportunity not be spurned.

And Sydney electro-rock act Caligula, another mid 90’s act of a similar ilk, have recently reformed to open proceedings on the night. So if you have even the remotest interest in this much loved and influential era of music, sounding as vital and revolutionary now as it did back then, be sure to get along to The Triffid in Brisbane on Thursday, 8 March for what promises to be one of the concert highlights of 2018.

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