Black Cab (band)
Indie Rock, Industrial Rock, Shoegazing
|Labels||Interstate 40 Music
Laughing Outlaw Records
Black Cab is a Melbourne based drone guitar and electronica group. The band is heavily influenced by 1970s psychedelic rock coupled with elements of Krautrock and more programmed driven beats and electronic soundscapes. The band has released three full length albums and two EP's.
Melbourne-based Australian band Black Cab's principal songwriters are guitarist James Lee and vocalist Andrew Coates, who originally performed together in early 1990s industrial rock group Foil. After an initial collaboration in 1999 produced a limited edition 3 track EP entitled 'Illinois Chapter', Coates moved to San Francisco and began writing what would become the band's first full length album 'Altamont Diary' (2004), a concept album loosely based on the Rolling Stones' disastrous Altamont Free Concert on 6 December 1969. The album was recorded gradually over a two-year period and was produced and mixed by Melbourne producer Woody Annison when Coates moved back to Melbourne in early 2002. At that time James Lee was playing in Melbourne bands Registered Nurse and The Fergs. The debut album also featured a number of local Melbourne musicians including Richard Andrew on drums (Registered Nurse, Underground Lovers), Andrew McCubbin and Glenn Sharpe on sitar, as well as Adam Cunha from San Francisco mod rock group Helium Angel. On release in mid-2004 the album attracted significant Australian and international acclaim and a full band was pulled together to take the album live. Joining Black Cab for the early live shows was Anthony Paine on bass (High Pass Filter), Steve Law (Zen Paradox) and Alex Jarvis (Automatic). Ashley Naylor (Even) also guested at a number of shows during 2005 and 2006. The band would often play shows to a video backdrop of slow moving images taken from concert footage of the Altamont Free Concert.
The full band contributed recordings for what would become the bands' second album 'Jesus East' which was released in Australia in 2006 on Interstate 40 Music/Pharmacy Records and in Europe in early 2007 courtesy of Hamburg based indie label Stickman Records (home of Norwegian psychedelic rockers Motorpsycho). Guest vocals on the track 13 Days were performed by Japanese LA-based vocalist and performance artist Sayaka Yabuki. The album also featured studio recordings from sitar master Radhey Gupta and tabla percussionist Hermant Kumar. The legendary road manager of the Rolling Stones on their fateful 1969 US tour, Sam Cutler recorded a spoken word for the track 'Valiant' where he recalls life managing and living with the Grateful Dead in the early 1970s. Sam Cutler, who now resides in Queensland Australia also performed this track live with the band at the bands' Melbourne and Sydney album launches. On the strength of international reviews the band received an Australia Council for the Arts International Pathways grant to tour the Netherlands, Germany and Austria in May 2007. A limited edition tour EP, 'Surrender', was released to coincide with the 2007 European tour and featured remixes of tracks from 'Jesus East' by Woody Annison and Steve Law, as well as a number of live recordings from shows in 2006.
The bands' third album was released in Australia in July 2009 through Sydney label Laughing Outlaw Records. The album was loosely inspired by East German culture and 1970s life under the communist regime and Stasi security apparatus, partly due to the band's tour of eastern Germany in 2007 as well as the book Stasiland by acclaimed Australian author Anna Funder. The album was produced by Woody Annison who also produced the band's debut release, Altamont Diary and featured lyrics and lead vocals by Died Pretty vocalist Ron Peno on the track 'Ghost Anthems'. Ron performed this track live at a handful of Melbourne and Sydney shows in late 2009. The track 'Black Angel' was inspired by the life of 1970's singer songwriter Judee Sill, the recording of which also featured found sounds of German netballers. The album also contained numerous found sounds of 1970's East German spy transmissions and call signs. The album garnered strong critical acclaim and indie radio airplay in Australia, culminating with a final nine shortlisting for the 2009 Australian Music Prize.
In 2011 the band released the single "Combat Boots" which was also produced by Simon Polinski. In July 2011 the band stripped down to a three piece (James Lee, Andrew Coates and Steve Law) to focus on more electronic-driven music. The new line-up road tested new works over late 2011 and is now recording a fourth full length album. The new album and 2009's Call Signs will be locally released in the US during 2012 by Parasol Records.
- Black Cab played a 12 date European tour in May 2007 to support the release of 'Jesus East'. The band blew out their Berlin show after their tour van died on the Autobahn 100 km outside Berlin but subsequently did a second show at the Paradiso (Amsterdam) instead.
- 'Altamont Diary' was remastered and released on on vinyl in 2008 via the Vinyl Factory, Australia.
- Illinois Chapter (Interstate 40/Pharmacy Records 1999)
- Altamont Diary (Interstate 40/Pharmacy Records 2004)
- Altamont Diary (Pharmacy Records/Shellshock UK 2005)
- Altamont Diary (Stickman Records Germany 2005)
- Jesus East (Interstate 40 Music/Pharmacy Records 2006)
- Jesus East (Stickman Records Germany 2007)
- Surrender EP (Interstate 40 Music 2007)
- Call Signs (Laughing Outlaw Records/Inertia 2009)
- Sexy Polizei single (Laughing Outlaw Records 2010)
- Combat Boots single (Interstate 40 Music 2011)