Black Cab (band)
Indie Rock, Industrial Rock, Shoegazing
|Instruments||guitar, bass, drums, electronic programming and treatments|
|Labels||Interstate 40 Music|
Remote Control Records
|Past members||Ashley Davis|
Black Cab is a Melbourne based drone and electronica group. The band has released five full-length albums and two EPs.
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' Altamont Free Concert. The album was recorded gradually over a two-year period and was produced and mixed by Melbourne producer Woody Annison. 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. The album Altamont Diary was released in mid-2004. Joining Black Cab for related live shows were 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 live 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. 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 his time managing and living with the Grateful Dead in the early 1970s. The band toured the Netherlands, Germany and Austria in May 2007 and a limited edition tour EP, 'Surrender', was released to coincide with the 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. Many tracks from the Jesus East and Altamont Diary LPs were used in the 2013 feature-length documentary on the life of Australian surfer Wayne Lynch directed by Craig Griffin, 'Uncharted Waters'.
The bands' third album Call Signs was released in Australia in July 2009 through Sydney label Laughing Outlaw Records. The album was inspired by East German culture and 1970s life under the communist regime and Stasi security apparatus. The album was produced by Woody Annison and featured lyrics and lead vocals by Died Pretty vocalist Ron Peno on the track 'Ghost Anthems'. The track 'Black Angel' was inspired by the life of 1970's singer-songwriter Judee Sill. The album also contained numerous found sounds of 1970's East German spy transmissions and call signs. The album was shortlisted for the 2009 Australian Music Prize.
In 2010 the band released the single "Sexy Polizei" featuring backing vocals from Melbourne songstress Monique Brumby and produced by Melbourne producer Simon Polinski. A year later they released the single "Combat Boots", 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. Steve Law left in 2013 and was replaced by Sand Pebbles drummer, Wes Holland on live and electronic drums.
The band's fourth album, Games of the XXI Olympiad, was released in November 2014. Recorded with multiple producers, including former Death In Vegas member Tim Holmes, Simon Polinski, and Woody Annison for final mixes and production, the album moved the band's sound firmly towards electronica and was loosely based on the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Remixes of 'Victorious' by Mikey Young and 'Sexy Polizei' by Scott Fraser And Timothy J Fairplay were released in 2015, and band released a single, 'Uniforms' in 2016 featuring additional keyboards and programming from Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control.
In January 2017 the band performed an alternative soundtrack to the 1988 manga classic Akira live at Melbourne's Astor Theatre with taiko master Toshi Sakamoto. This performance formed the basis for a full-length soundtrack album, "明 (Akira)", released in August 2017. The album was described as being inspired by Japanese sci-fi anime.  The band released the two track EP, "Empire States" in February 2017 featuring the 12 minute single, 'Empire States' and 'Senses Wild', with a remix of Empire States by Richard Norris of The Grid. Evan Tweedie (ex-Husky and Dub FX) joined the band on bass in late 2018 having tracked bass on various new recordings during the course of 2017 and 2018.
- Altamont Diary (2004, Interstate 40 Music/Pharmacy)
- Jesus East (2006, Interstate 40 Music/Pharmacy)
- Call Signs (2009, Laughing Outlaw/Inertia)
- Games of the XXI Olympiad (2014, Interstate 40 Music)
- 明 (Akira) (2017, Interstate 40 Music)
- Live At Newtown Social Club (2016, Interstate 40 Music)
- Surrender (2007, Interstate 40 Music)
- Empire States (2017, Interstate 40 Music)
- Sexy Polizei (2010, Laughing Outlaw Records)
- Combat Boots (2011, Interstate 40 Music)
- Victorious/Sexy Polizei remixes (2015, Slightly Delic)
- Uniforms (2016, Interstate 40 Music)
- Take It (2019, Remote Control Records)
- Donovan, Patrick (4 November 2006). "The day the Hells Angels let it bleed". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Australian Music Prize