BFY- front

Shagrat Records are about to release possibly their most exciting rediscovery yet. The glorious Big Front Yard launch a new imprint Thylacine Records with a limited edition (300) double album.

1969 was a great year for underground British rock with bands like Juniors Eyes, Screw, Little Free Rock, Forest, and Hard Meat, all but now forgotten. Hard Meat was a British trio that released two singles and two albums. Formed in North Devon over the winter of 1968/9, the combo was led by brothers Mick and Steve Dolan formerly of Midlands act, The Cock-A- Hoops. Despite extensive touring (including two trips to the US), major festival appearances in UK and Europe and good press, when drummer Mick Carless quit after UK dates with The Flying Burrito Bros in December 1970, they split up and promptly fell off the planet.

Big Front Yard (name taken from a short story Mike Dolan admired by US sci-fi writer, Clifford D Simak) was the brothers’ next venture, though sadly the group never got the exposure it deserved and split after just one single in 1976. Thylacine are now releasing fourteen tracks by Big Front Yard rescued from obscurity (actually from the attic of writer/academic Michael Gray, who was once their manager) and restored to remarkable audio quality by sound alchemist Tony Poole. This is the first time most of these cuts have ever seen the light of day since they were recorded between 1973 and 1976.

The track above comes from a BMRB radio session from 1975. Four tracks were recorded and can be found on YouTube. Sadly, both Dolans are now gone, Steve passing away in 2000 and Mick in 2014 but this vinyl set is an integral, till now missing part of their legacy. What you have here is indeed not only son of Hard Meat but also fabulous US West-Coast inspired British rural rock from the early 70s comparable to Quiver, Greasy Bear, Bronco, early Brinsleys, later Mighty Baby, Help Yourself, Gypsy, Byzantium, all of whom were very American influenced (Band/Dead/ Byrds/Buffalo Springfield etc). Sometimes Big Front Yard even sound like out of kilter with the times, more pink-label Island than Charisma or Harvest of 1973/74.

Side 1
Daily Grind
On the Hill
Lay Down
Morning Glory

Side 2
Hogtied Pantomime
For the Man
Keep on Keeping On
Another Age

Side 3
Time it Right
In Your Wagon

Side 4
Mad John’s Dream
No More Angels

Artwork by John Hurford,
Liner notes by Michael Gray.
Pressed on 180gsm vinyl.

Pre-order now