Black Cab Sessions

Black Cab Sessions


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Episode Guide


  • Sessions
    • The Boxer Rebellion
      The Boxer Rebellion
      Episode 111
      The Boxer Rebellion
    • Delta Spirit
      Delta Spirit
      Episode 110
      Delta Spirit
    • Lianne La Havas
    • Young Man
      Young Man
      Episode 108
      We were lucky enough to film one of Chicago's finest new exports, Young Man. After hearing their amazing 'Boy' EP, we couldn't wait to get their unique vocals into the cab. Check it out.
    • Michael Kiwanuka
      Michael Kiwanuka
      Episode 107
      Fresh from supporting Adele on her European tour, Michael Kiwanuka steps into the cab to perform the title track 'Tell Me a Tale' taken from his forthcoming EP out in June.
    • Villagers
      Episode 106
      Just in time for his Record Store Day release, Conor O Brien jumps on the backseat for a lovely version of 'That Day'
    • I Blame CoCo
      I Blame CoCo
      Episode 105
      I Blame Coco at Secret Garden Party, 2010
    • First Aid Kit
      First Aid Kit
      Episode 104
      First Aid kit
    • Flaming Lips
      Flaming Lips
      Episode 103
      It was a cold and miserable May afternoon in Whitechapel. Thankfully, Flaming Lips brightened everyones afternoon with a little back and forth with our cabbie, Brian. Take it away guys!
    • Fionn Ragan
      Fionn Ragan
      Episode 102
      What a total gentlemen this man is. Fionn jumped in the back of the taxi and played this beautiful number for us. Afterwards, he legged it back to his dressing room only to return moments later with some beers for us all! Legend.
    • Erland And The Carnival
      We'd said to all bands, 'no more than 3 in the cab!'. Erland et al ignored our advice. The 4 of them proved us wrong and delivered a wonderful stripped down performance to kick things off.
    • Steve Mason
      Steve Mason
      Episode 100
      We'd seen Steve perform at Secret Garden Party and were desperate to get him in the cab. Here he plays the beautiful 'All Come Down' taken from his recent solo album 'Boys Outside'
    • Lissie
      Episode 99
      Having not stopped for the last 3 days, we were warned Lissie might be a bit tired and hungry. We would never had guessed, a totally lovely and bubbling person, Lissie and her band played us two crackers, but we had to go with this brilliant cover of Lionel Richie's 'Hello'moreless
    • Roots Manuva
      Roots Manuva
      Episode 98
      We were looking forward to this one all day! Rodney 'Roots' Manuva turned up with a Wasp keyboard, a guitar and this own unique flow to finish off a great day
    • Savoir Adore
      Savoir Adore
      Episode 97
      Brooklyn's latest darlings, Savoir Adore got into a very hot and sweaty cab to show us why they;ve been touted as New Yorks next big thing.
    • John and Jehn
      John and Jehn
      Episode 96
      French duo John and Jehn returned this Summer with their stunning second album, ?Time For The Devil?. It's an album inspired by a short parable called ?La Hora del Diablo? by the Portugese writer and poet Fernando Pessoa. They jumped into the cab at Secret Garden Party to play a one of the standout...moreless
    • Eliza Doolittle
      Eliza Doolittle
      Episode 95
      What a huge voice for such a petit lady! Surely this is going to be one of the songs of the summer?
    • Marques Toliver
      Marques Toliver
      Episode 94
      Not many people can pull off white pulled up socks and black shoes, but Marques Toliver is unlike many people. Here he plucks and bows his violin to great rhythmical effect while singing beautifully.
    • Summer Camp
      Summer Camp
      Episode 93
      Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey jumped aboard to give us a great rendition of 'Was it Worth It' taken from their highly anticipated debut album.
    • Cloud Control
      Cloud Control
      Episode 92
      Australia's next big thing - CLOUD CONTROL. Come and see them play at BCS Live on July 22nd at The Luminaire. More details here:
    • Band of Horses
      Band of Horses
      Episode 91
      After selling out London's Roundhouse the previous night, we caught up with a very hungover couple of dudes from the awesome Band Of Horses!
    • The Antlers
      The Antlers
      Episode 90
    • Jamie Lidell
      Jamie Lidell
      Episode 90
      We're thrilled to be joined by the multi talented Jamie Lidell in the back of our cab. A swift journey round the streets of Shoreditch accompanied by his incredibly soulful tones and beats from the same mouth equals a very special session. Introduced by Trista Connor who won an Evening Standard com...moreless
    • Winter Sleep
      Winter Sleep
      Episode 89
      To follow...
    • Ramblin Man
      Ramblin Man
      Episode 87
      We first met Laura two years ago when we filmed her playing a song called Alas I cannot swim accompanied by her then boyfriend and Noah and The Whale front man, Charlie Fink. It was an altogether different Laura that we met this time at SXSW- more self assured and womanly, although still with tha...moreless
    • The Laurel Collective
      What better way to get our Big Chill sessions underway then cramming in 6 members of The Laurel Collective in the back of the cab. With the drummer Charlie stuffed into the front seat, the other 5 squeezed themselves around their instruments and delivered a truly wonderful performance to really set ...moreless
    • Driver Drive Faster
    • Wildbirds and Peacedrums
      Look. They have a whole drum kit in the cab. A WHOLE DRUM KIT!!! And WHAT A VOICE!!
    • William Orbit
      William Orbit
      Episode 85
      So we thought it was time to have a three-time Grammy Award winner in the back of our cab. We found William Orbit in Islington surrounded by an array of wires and electronic equipment. Never before have we had such a tangle of leads in our Hackney Carriage. After squeezing in, we were given a rare ...moreless
    • Sweet Billy Pilgrim
      This is a first. Not the fact that we've had a Mercury Music Prize nominee grace our backseat (see Speech Dabelle from SGP) but check out this magnificent instrument known as a Harmonium. Isn't it beautiful? And who better to play this, than Sweet Billy Pilgrim. After running around the festival ...moreless
    • Noah and the Whale
      Noah and the Whale
      Episode 84
      It was a pleasure to welcome back our favorite aquatic sea dwellers to the Big Chill taxi. Charlie Fink and Tom 'T-Bone' Hobden stepped up to give us a beautiful stripped down version of their new summer smash, Blue Skies.
    • Tom Hickox
      Tom Hickox
      Episode 84
      Surely a name to watch in the future, Tom Hickox caught our attention when we first heard the song he performs here, 'The Pretty Part of Russia'. We meet on a hot afternoon and Tom is wearing a tuxedo and trainers. We set off on our way into Ledbury when suddenly, his battery powered keyboard runs...moreless
    • Amadou et Mariam
      Amadou et Mariam
      Episode 84
      We've been after these two legendary musicians from Mali for a long time now. So you'd think that having finally agreed to film them, we would be prepared. We greeted them outside London's Roundhouse theatre only to find Amadou sitting with an electric guitar. After a quick check, we discovered w...moreless
    • Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
      One guy with a box on his head, the other with a spiky spine singing their hearts out. Nice use of the amp guys?
    • King Charles
      King Charles
      Episode 83
      Our first session of the festival is always exciting. We managed again to get one of the nicest cabbies around, Mark, who also doubles up as a photographer and is part of a collective of cabbies called Creative Cabbies. So there we all were, and King Charles arrived, his hair as disheveled as a deba...moreless
    • Final Fantasy
      Final Fantasy
      Episode 83
      As far as cool points go, Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy is scoring high. Famed for arranging and writing the string parts for Arcade Fire?s albums, and also for generally being a multi-talented violinist and singer, we were very chuffed to get this golden boy on board.
    • Wood Pigeon
      Wood Pigeon
      Episode 83
      This was an impromptu one ? we just saw the name on the list, made a few calls, and eventually got hold of the mobile number of Mark (lead singer). We left a message. Half an hour later he called back, from his car on his way home. He came all the way back to perform for us ? and boy was it worth it...moreless
    • Official Secrets Act
      Wow. Its quite rare to stumble on a band you know nothing about and be completely blown away. Having filmed sessions all morning, we decided to have a Pear Cider and check out the festival. These three chaps came on and from their first song, had us gripped. So much so, we ran round to backstage t...moreless
    • The Maccabees
      The Maccabees
      Episode 83
      The taxi pulled over, the window rolled down and we leaned in to introduce ourselves to the cab driver. But a familiar face beamed back. It was Lee, the man who drove us so well for the Brian Wilson session, and then drove us through the mud and rain at Green Man. "Of all the cabs, in all the towns, in all the world, they had to walk into mine" Lee said. It was a complete coincidence that we'd hailed him, but what a treat to see him again. He is now becoming the bona fide star of this series. What's more, he happens to like The Maccabees quite a bit. And aren't they good - great riffs, great melodies and real emotion. Orlando and brothers Felix and Hugo really go to town for us and the result is a very beautiful session. You'll see plenty more of them in future (and Lee too no doubt).moreless
    • Skint & Demoralised
      A new session from Skint & Demoralised. His poems are worth a look too...
    • Hafdis Huld
      Hafdis Huld
      Episode 83
      Whilst holding down number one in homeland Iceland, Hafdishuld is currently doing the British festival rounds. We hadn't scheduled to invite her for a session - but after seeing her rouse a rather sleepy crowd into manic dancing, we thought why the hell not. So here she is, with a very charismatic p...moreless
    • Bombay Bicycle Club
      We're on site. Rain giving it some as we walk over to backstage to meet the first act of the festival - Bombay Bicycle Club. A wonderful rendition of Loundon Wainwright's 'Midnight Blues', who we coincidentally had on the backseat last Sunday. What a lovely way to start a wonderful weekend.moreless
    • Brute Chorus
      Brute Chorus
      Episode 83
      After a heavy night, we're up early to do a 10am start with the wonderful Brute Chorus, and geez, these guys woke us up alright. Infectious energy and rhythms, we climbed out the cab pumped and inspired!
    • Speech Debelle
      Speech Debelle
      Episode 83
      Fresh from her Mercury Music Prize Nomination, Speech Debelle and guitarist Kieran dropped into the Secret Garden Party taxi. With a lyrical flow that reminds us of Ursula Ruckker or Wot Wot, Speech Debelle is leading the new school of Slam artists out of London, and we reckon this performance show...moreless
    • Au Revoir Simone
      Au Revoir Simone
      Episode 83
      We've been after these three sirens for a long time now but we've always had to postpone due to timings etc. So, imagine our joy when Erica, Annie and Heather (what? no Simone?!) drove all the way to the Secret Garden Party to perform for us, before getting back in the van and heading back to Londo...moreless
    • Rodriguez
      Episode 82
      A midnight session could not have been more apt for a musician who's seminal work spent nothing short of thirty years in the dark. Unjustifiably so. Yet such is the tale of Senior Rodrigeuz, the author of a cross-cultural cult with a status unnoticed; a legend quietly born. It was 1969 when his best known album, Cold Fact, was released. It sank like a stone in the States, yet unbenounced to him produced a veritable ricochet effect across South Africa and its environs. Thus it is some 40 years later that we found ourselves sat with this little known music hero in the back of a cab, with him playing "Inner City Blues" for us. Music ain't the half of it. The man is an angel - couldn't be warmer, who as you'll hear can certainly sing. Enjoy this - it comes from as big a legend as we are likely to get, let alone hear.moreless
      We bumped into Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy) and Thomas Walsh (Pugwash Thomas) in a hotel foyer, appropriately right next to Lord's Cricket Ground. The two, now known as The Duckworth Lewis Method, had just put together their maiden album, a record 'steeped in the love of cricket and pop' - we weren't sure what to expect.moreless
    • VV Brown
      VV Brown
      Episode 80
    • Grizzly Bear
      Grizzly Bear
      Episode 79
      The K West hotel in Shepherds Bush has played host to many Black Cab performers of late. My Morning Jacket, Martha Wainwright and Death Cab For Cutie have all been made to wait in the lobby while we try and hail a cab outside for hours on end. And for this weeks performer, it was no different. Grizzly Bear are made up of four extremely gentle and friendly chaps who couldn't have been more accommodating to us. After a full morning of interviews, Ed, Daniel, Chris and Bear welcomed us, excited at the prospect of not having to answer any more journalists' questions. After gathering their instruments, the four of them disappeared into a small room to rehearse their chosen song, the brilliant 'All We Ask' taken from their latest album 'Veckatimest' (reviewed in this weeks Knowledge). Minutes later, six of us of bundled into the waiting cab, which drove us around the backstreets of White City and beyond. Grizzly Bear dealt with the potholes and white van drivers brilliantly to deliver a spotless performance which confirms the buzz surrounding them  beautifully textured vocals that compliment Daniels unique guitar progressions to create an eerie, yet fantastic session. Thank you K West hotel, youve given us another great performance, who will it be next?moreless
    • Maximo Park
      Maximo Park
      Episode 78
      The Evening Standard ran a charity auction where readers could bid for various things in and around London. On that list was the chance for someone to join us in the back of the cab for the Maximo Park session. The lovely Hayden Hogg Thomason put in the highest offer. Of course, being cramped for space, there's no room for passengers in this cab, so we got Hayden doing the sound for us. And a good job she did too. Here's what Hayden has to say about it all:moreless
    • Dawn Landes
      Dawn Landes
      Episode 77
      So we made it New York. More about this soon...
    • Doves
      Episode 77
      Two weeks ago, we picked up Wilmslows finest - Jez, Jimi and Martin - from a pub on Hoxton Street. A beer was shared and we soon knew we were dealing with a band who's album was about to go Top 5 in the charts. Guitar technicians and sound guys suddenly emerged, rigging up the cab up with all sorts of mod cons to ensure a top quality performance from the trio. And this is what they delivered - a spellbinding take on their new hit 'Kingdom of Rust' It couldnt have gone better. Doves were extremely charming and so impressed with the acoustics that Jez mentioned recording a whole album in the back of a Hackney Carriage... look out Abbey Road.moreless
    • The Miserable Rich
      The Miserable Rich
      Episode 76
    • Peter, (Bjorn) and John
      We encountered Peter and John, laden with suitcases, on Curtain Road in Hoxton, and, as we wondered where Bjorn was, they quickly squeezed themselves into our cab. We were immediately given a quirky rendition of 'Living Thing', the title track from their new album. John then explained that Bjorn was in his suitcase, we laughed nervously...moreless
    • Left With Pictures
      Left With Pictures
      Episode 75
      East London locals Left With Pictures were more than familiar with the speed bumps and ambulance sirens of the City, as they jostled their way harmoniously from Liverpool Street towards Tower Bridge. Bravely squeezing violin, guitar and keyboards onto the back seat of our cab, the trio gave an intimate and impassioned performance, undeterred by the close proximity of a CBS news crew (in a purple cab, no less) following us in hot pursuit.
    • Ane Brun
      Ane Brun
      Episode 74
      For those of you who are new to the music of Ane Brun, chances are you have heard her sing before. Her version of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kellys True Colours, made famous in the Kodak & Peugeout adverts, has left its mark indelibly upon the conscious and sub-conscious minds of all those listeners who happen to have been within earshot. Fortunately for us, we were in the vicinity (Brewer St, Soho) whilst Ane performs, Lullaby for Grown Ups. The beautifully harminous vocals, and at times discordant finger picking over the de-tuned guitar strings, attributes this delicate song with a wonderful array of emotions. It definitely warrants a fair few listens, perhaps before bed. And, grown up or not, youll probably nod off with a smile on your face. Go here for tour dates:
    • Richard Thompson
      Richard Thompson
      Episode 73
      We're going to Richard Thompson's house today. Richard Thompson, who writes hard, honest, brilliant songs like 'She twists the knife again', 'I misunderstood' and 'Dad's gonna kill me'. The man who makes other luminaries' guitar playing seem pale and redundantand there he is, in his front room, just sitting and playing the guitar like a normal person. He even owns most series of 'Friends' on DVD, for some reason this is surprising. Maybe they belong to someone else. We need to get going though, Mike the cab driver has tickets with his brother for the lunchtime football and its already 11.30am. Richard and his two singing playing band members, Judith and Debra, crush into the cab with guitar, leg-strapped bells and drum. The wordsheet is propped up tentatively on our knees but they don't really need it of course - they sing with ease and power and grace, it all just pours out. When the session is over, farewells are exchanged, and though time's run on, everyone seems to have really enjoyed it. Mike didn't even mind missing the football.moreless
    • Our Broken Garden
      Our Broken Garden
      Episode 72
      Isn't it nice when someone makes an effort? Anna Brnsted (it took us a long time to work out how to do an  on the keyboard) from Our Broken Garden did exactly that, by searching high and low throughout London to buy a baby grand piano, especially for this performance. And doesn't it look cute? It sounds anything but though. Melancholic, haunting and rather ethereal it's all makes for quite a beguiling Session. And proves that it is definitely worth making that extra bit of effort. Enjy!moreless
    • Ryan Adams
      Ryan Adams
      Episode 71
      It's amazing that a London cabbie had to travel all the way to Nashville, Tennessee to hear about us. But that's what happened with Jason Brown, our cabbie for this Session. A keen music fan, he went over there for an event and heard a talk from BBC2 radio DJ Bob Harris who apparently mentioned what we're up to. Jason loved the idea, and on his return looked us up and offered his services for a Session. What is more, he just so happened to be a pretty big Ryan Adams fan. Perfect. There was a slight concern at the start of the Session though: Ryan gets car sick. Ryan's manager warned us of this and asked that, as much as possible, we drive in a straight line. It's definitely one of the stranger requests that Jason's ever had, but he did his best while in the back Ryan manfully rose above the nausea to sing his heart out. Hope you enjoy it; Jason certainly did. Best straight line he's ever driven.moreless
    • The Walkmen
      The Walkmen
      Episode 70
      The Walkmen session. Ever since 'Hang on, Siobhan' was first played to us many years back, this band have been up there in our humble esteem. They have travelled with us on mix tapes, CD players, record players, mini discs, ipods, iphones and now here they are, live in the back of a cab, singing the gorgeous Red Moon from their most recent album 'You and Me'. Our only regret is that the cabby judged the session perfectly and we arrived back the moment the song ended, with no time for another off-screen tune to wind us down. It was the end of another surreal session  a hasty hand shake in the cold, a hurried 'thank you so much', and we were off, pinching ourselves all the way home.moreless
    • Slow Club
      Slow Club
      Episode 69
      Over the past week or so, here in the UK we have witnessed a particularly bloody and unseasonably fierce battle for that Christmas Number One Spot. In one corner, we had an army of X-factor fans, getting the bus to Asda to buy the Alexandra Burke Hallelujah record. While in the other corner, swathes of university graduates cycled to their local record store to buy the Jeff Buckley version that they already owned. In amongst all this were the impish gang who did their utmost to boost Astley up the charts for the ultimate Rick Roll of them all. But while all that was going on, somewhere in the back of a cab, an original and genuinely enjoyable Christmas tune was being played by the little beauties called Slow Club. A police car even provides some very festive bells. Hope you like it. Oh yeah, if you want to check out some of the plans we've got for Black Cab Sessions in 2009 click here. Happy Christmas everyone.moreless
    • David Thomas Broughton
      Block out the diary, get yourself a strong cup of tea and find a soft, comfy seat because we have here upon us a bit of an epic with David Thomas Broughton. It's a vast, sprawling session as he unfurls layer upon layer of guitar, vocals and looping pedals. And it really is quite something. A lovely journalist from time out came along for the ride as they're writing a little piece about him (and hopefully us). She's quite a fan, as perhaps you can tell from the x-rated outburst of joy at the end of the session.moreless
    • Lambchop
      Episode 67
      People. Its getting cold, its getting dark and its raining. We've been warned of blizzards about to roll in over the capital and its only Tuesday. What better than a rainy song to keep you company, and who better to sing it than Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. A delicate and understated cover of Dylan's 'Youre a big girl now' is the soundtrack to this month's Knowledge. So far weve had covers of Radiohead (Amanda Palmer of Dresden Dolls singing 'Creep'), The Beatles (St Vincent singing 'Dig a Pony') and now Dylan. A stellar legacy, and Kurt more than lives up to it, one of the best sessions yet actually, we reckon. Dont let the rain get you down.moreless
    • Jay Jay Pistolet
      Jay Jay Pistolet
      Episode 66
      Jay Jay Pistolet has been gigging Londons bars and venues for a while now, charming crowds with his just-out-of-bed voice and conversational lyrics. Wedged between two seemingly expressionless backing singers, Jay Jay performs Picking up daisies. If you like what you hear, you can get more on his new single Happy Birthday You, featured on myspace
    • Stricken City
      Stricken City
      Episode 65
      As much as we love our more gentle sessions, it is always fun to rock out in the back of a cab, and this is what we did with Stricken City. It was a bit of a squash with all the instruments and Rebekahs trademark headdress, which unfortunately had to sit behind her rather than atop her head, but this only adds to the beautifully shambolic vibe of the band. Five metREs apart is so catchy we are still singing along back at Black Cab Sessions HQ.moreless
    • Amanda Palmer
      Amanda Palmer
      Episode 64
      Amanda Palmer stumbled on the wonderful St Vincent session a while back [Chapter Eleven] and was so impressed she invited Annie to collaborate with her on her latest album. Now that makes us feel warm and fuzzy: in some small way we had a part to play in these artists discovering each other and creating something special. Amanda hobbled into the back of the cab with a cast on her leg but this did nothing to dampen her spirits as she belted out a Radiohead cover, and filled the back of the cab with her captivating voice and style. And who wouldve thought she only knows 6 chords on the ukulele?moreless
    • Peter And The Wolf
      Peter And The Wolf
      Episode 63
      Sometimes when you revisit things, theyre sweeter than they were before. Something about the rediscovery, when the memories of that day, of that summer, and the way you were feeling all come flooding back. Recorded about 8 months ago, and watching it again two days ago, this session had that effect. We had arranged to meet Red, aka Peter and the Wolf, in a beaten up old Soho pub. Arriving late, we scurried in and the old timers at the bar all turned around, bemused by our fluster at this quiet, calm, afternoon hour in their local drinking hole. And then there was Red, sitting at the end of the bar, recognizable by his mini guitar on the bar top and his god damn good looks. And then, after brief introduction and apologies for our lateness, we were off, and he sung, and he even changed this old songs lyrics just for us. And it felt special at the time, but it feels glorious now, like finding a 20 note in your old jeans - this is forgotten treasure.
    • Jens Lekman
      Jens Lekman
      Episode 62
      Unlike ringo starr, we enjoy hearing from people. we're hardly talking big post bags full of fan mail and knickers here, but we do now and then get a few emails from you guys with some ideas about who next to coax onto the backseat. and one name that has been suggested - relentlessly, time and time again by a shed load of you - is the inscrutable Swede Jens Lekman. And even more than that, you asked for a specific song. so here he is, by popular demand: Jens playing 'Black Cab'. Good idea everyone. Peace and love, peace and love.moreless
    • Young Republic
      Young Republic
      Episode 61
      We felt mild panic the whole way through this session because we were going in deaf. The headphones socket of our camera was bust so we couldn't hear anything that was being recorded. It's a bit of a dark art doing the sound for these things so there's always a good chance something's going wrong. You need to keep an eye - and especially an ear - on what's going on all the time. Our anxiety about messing the sound up was heightened when we met them. They were halfway through an impromptu gig on the side of the street, distracting a lady vendor and her punters from negotiations at a chocolate stall. The crowd were loving it. Young Republic were clearly very happy playing anywhere - a notion underlined by how easy they seem performing in the cab. Afterwards when we got back to black cab session HQ to check the sound, the room was filled with a collective 'phew'. We had gotten away with it. Very lucky. Would have been horrid to miss out on this one.moreless
    • Calexico
      Episode 60
      A stunning performance this one, and a real throwback to the early days of the black cab sessions when we'd grab an artist after their gig and head out onto the streets with them to hail a cab. Because that's exactly what happened here with Joey burns of Calexico. There's something ever so slightly thrilling about doing it like this, when the artist's blood is still pumping and the performance translates across from the packed crowd of the seething venue to an audience of us, the cabbie and the nameless passers-by on london's streets. And what's more, Joey even does requests. So here he is with "Not even Stevie Nicks". We love it, we hope you do too.moreless
    • Brian Wilson
      Brian Wilson
      Episode 59
      "Dear Black Cabs," the email began, "would you please consider filming a session with Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys)." They really didn't need to add that last bit about the Beach Boys. A few weeks later we were outside Abbey Studios, with the taxi humming patiently behind us, nervously awaiting one of the most influential songwriters of all time. And then he emerged with his band: five of them in total. Bit tricky that because, of course, you can only sit five in the back of cab, and seeing as there were two of us to film and record sound, that made an unlucky seven in total. So we jettisoned sound recording duties, made the five of them comfortable, and wedged our cameraman in an awkward stress position between the jump seats. And we were away, the cameraman filming an unforgettable Black Cab Session with Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys), trying to keep the camera steady as cramp slowly tightens around his hamstring. Amazingly, after performing That Lucky Old Sun, the band break out into California Girls. We've coaxed some pretty big acts into the back of a cab but landing Brian Wilson really is the mother of all coups. We hope you enjoy it - and to get the latest updates on future releases (and oh boy we've got some crackers in the mix), be sure to sign up to The Knowledge. Over to you Brian..moreless
    • Badly Drawn Boy
      Badly Drawn Boy
      Episode 58
      And so to the final chapter of our green man sessions, and who better to round it all off than Damon Gough, otherwise known as Badly Drawn Boy. He'd been getting stuck into the festival good and proper and when we met him he wearily clambered into the taxi in yesterday's clothes having just warmed up his vocal chords with a damp rollie. And then out came this rendition of Born in the UK - beautiful and wistful, the perfect soundtrack to the green hills and hedgerows we slowly wound our way through. And it was the perfect way to close out the festival, as we indulged in some nostalgic memories of what we'd enjoyed about Green Man - perhaps a little bit like when helen daniels died in 'neighbours' and a montage took us back over the events of her life. We'll remember the food - amazing, and always served with rocket; The National's set on the last night; the epic scenery; Laura Marling; Mumford and Sons; and of course the rain, the relentless rain that came down in biblical proportions but didn't dampen anyone's spirits. We reckon we were all in the billy connelly camp for this one: "there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes." We'll be back in the Brecon Beacons next year for suremoreless
    • Mumford And Sons
      Mumford And Sons
      Episode 57
      Mumford and Sons played an astounding set before we picked them up. The rain was still battering down, the shoes still sodden, yet the Dunkirk spirit was in the eyes of every reveler: the tent where they were due to play was packed and the atmosphere excited as the band took up their positions. 'I lost a bet' Marcus said to the crowd as he picked up his guitar, 'i bet a fiver that no one would turn up, so you guys [looking at crowd] owe me money'. When the set finished, we dashed to the taxi with Lee, heaved the cab out of the mud, reversed up the hill and the band jumped in. It was a squash but they coped, smiling all the way through the lovely harmonies of 'Sister'. With the likes of Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn as friends and fellow musicians, we're sure it won't take long before these guys become a regular on the London scene. And if their live set is anything to go by, that's a good thing indeed.moreless
    • King Creosote
      King Creosote
      Episode 56
      Part III of our Green Man Sessions was with another of the festival's royalty: HRH King Creosote. He and fellow fife man James Yorkston have been involved with this festival every year since its humble beginnings a decade ago, when 300 music lovers and a few sheep turned up to hear some excellent live folk. I's grown from there like a prize-winning welsh leek but for our money, it still retains much of its heart and soul. And our guess is that a big reason why is because grand daddies like these guys keep coming back. They evidently still love it - caked in mud, clasping a vat of tricky cider (delicious and deceptively punchy) and with a fixed grin on his face, king creosote bounded over to us in good spirits. And the resulting a cappella performance of twin tub twin, with his deer friend pip dylan, is unbridled joy.moreless
    • James Yorkston
      James Yorkston
      Episode 55
      Part II of our Green Man Sessions features one of the festivals ambassadors, long time performers and all round nice guy, Mr. James Yorkston. The rain was still pouring when we received a text half an hour before we were due to meet. James was in the nearest town picking up some essential supplies to cope with the lashings of rain and would therefore be late. The Black Cab team busied themselves amongst the festival folk and ended up auditioning for introductions to the sessions. This, as you can see, went swimmingly well.... Back to the cab and we're greeted by a very dry looking Yorkston who jumps in the back, mics up and performs some exquisite music for us accompanied by a beautifully hand made acoustic guitar. As he sings, the roads become narrower and narrower, so much so we have to turn back...but James wasn't phased as he sets the perfect soundtrack to the rolling hills and meadows of the breckon beacons, making this a very special session indeed.moreless
    • Damien Jurado
      Damien Jurado
      Episode 54
      Part I of our Green Man Sessions saw Damien Jurado and Jena Conrad give the most touching and understated performance of the festival. Jenas harmonies, written by her, compliment Damiens rendition of Last Rites perfectly. The rain was relentless this day in Wales, drenching our clothes, hair, tents and making a mud pit of poor Lees taxi. But for this short escapade out of the festival site, the greyness lifted and the staggering Welsh countryside was visible for the first time. This is simple, unpretentious, relaxed and beautiful song writing - and as sheep crossed our path and deserted country hills rolled by, there couldnt have been a more apt soundtrack. The song is on Damiens new album, Caught in the Trees, which is out October 27th here in the UK.
    • Smoke Fairies
      Smoke Fairies
      Episode 53
      As this project has developed we've found ourselves in the back of a cab with some pretty big hitters in the music world. In fact we recently recorded a session with one of the most influential American artists of all time (we can't say who just yet - all will be revealed...) anyway, those sessions are really compelling because you get to see such mega acts up close, raw, performing improvised versions of well known songs in ways you've perhaps not heard before. and that's pretty special. But what is also special, and of equal importance to this project, is that we offer the back seat to artists big and small. We don't worry about how many records they've sold, as long as they make excellent music, we'll gladly pull over because we love seeing the little guns mixing it - and holding their own - with the howitzers. And so here we are with the smoke fairies - currently unsigned, relatively unknown, but with the really outstanding new single living with ghosts on their hands. They perform it here and by god, what a session it is. Beautiful, brooding, dark and strangely disturbing, its a sound that could have placed us in some road movie set in the deep south were it not for old street roundabout in the background. And given their breathy, husky vocals, its of some wonder that the cab windows didnt steam up. Anyway, theres certainly something haunting about their music, and it's sure to stay with you for some time.moreless
    • Beach House
      Beach House
      Episode 52
      When we heard that Beach House were coming to these shores it was like music to our ears. And when they stepped foot in the nation's capital we made sure that we got them good and proper in a black cab. And what a surprise and delight it was. They took on Heart Of Chambers from the very special Devotion LP but rather than going for it with farsifa organ and all the usual trimmings, they go back to basics with an acoustic guitar and floor toms; the resulting sound is folky and rather playful. It's a very unique performance and adds another dimension to the Beach House sound we know and love. Beautiful.moreless
    • Martha Wainwright
      Martha Wainwright
      Episode 51
      Were going in circles but thats often-times how I feel says Martha Wainwright gazing out the taxi window. Weve done this before; Micah Ps session made circles around Soho square, The Cave Singers did rings around Kings Cross Station and now Martha is coming back to where she began, over and over, on High Street Kensington. She sings 'Bleeding all over you' climaxing in the declaration But I still love you  a confession that is almost too much given the close confines of the cab and the intense camera close ups. But we cope, and the taxi moves on, passing the same shops for the last time, until we arrive where we began and Martha gets out, waves us off and continues her journey back to the labels headquarters.moreless
    • Cool Kids
      Cool Kids
      Episode 50
      Ah, summer in the city. Drinkers spilling out of pubs into the dappled evening sunlight; boys and girls smiling gaily at each other as they flip-flop through the parks; the distant siren of a police car speeding off to the latest knife crime.... Bliss. But you know what we find special about just such a balmy July evening? Reaching our 50th Black Cab Session. It's been quite a journey getting here and, to be completely honest, we feel damn lucky. It has been a privilege to work with some of our favourite acts and, of course, it's been a treat to meet Londons chippy, chirpy occasionally bemused cab drivers. But the best bit - hopefully for you too - is that we're not stopping here. No way Jose. Up our sleeve we have plenty more unique performances from the worlds finest acts. As ever, some youll know and some you wont. As for now, well leave you in the mightily talented hands of Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish, AKA the Cool Kids. The classiest lyrical masters in all Illinois were over to promote their new album The Bake Sale (available in all good record stores, released on XL) and found time to join us for our landmark Session. So here they are with a series of skits documenting the London scenery and using the very cab itself as an instrument. So please enjoy our 50th Session. Without doubt, it truly is golden.moreless
    • Wild Beasts
      Wild Beasts
      Episode 49
      What's in a name? Well, you might expect a band called the wild beasts to either be a sweaty mass of spandex and matted hair rocking away in dry ice while zuped up on unfashionable drugs. Or they could be something to do with Bill and Ted. But these particular wild beasts are not what you expect at all. And Amen for that. They are refined creatures from Cumbria with a very unique sound that has seen them signed to Domino, barnstorm Glastonbury and Latitude festivals and unfairly (we reckon) miss out on a Mercury nomination. Here they play a minimalist version of 'devil's crayon' and it really is exceptional. Oh yeah, did we mention the falsetto voice?moreless
    • Man Man
      Man Man
      Episode 48
      Right at the end of the ABC newspiece about the black cab sessions, Cynthia, the consummate, bubbly news anchor woman, seamlessly segued into the next section with the throwaway line: "pianists need not apply". Pianists. need. not. apply. As soon as she uttered them, those four words echoed around the marble corridors of Black Cab Sessions HQ. Cynthia had laid down the gauntlet. And we gamely took her words as a challenge. So meet Man Man. A band we love from Philly who are pretty special live and whose music is driven along by the piano playing - yes Cynthia, the piano playing - of lead singer Honus Honus. So with three band members and a cab-wide keyboard squeezed in the back, and the mighty power being sourced from the tiny acorn of the dashboard cigarette lighter, they launched - with a slightly dangerous look in their eye - into a very raucous and weirdly joyful rendition of rabbit habits tune 'Doo Right'. And the piano sounds a-ok. So Cynthia, this one's for you.moreless
    • Cave Singers
      Cave Singers
      Episode 47
      It seems Seattle has produced another great band. This mesmerising trio, The Cave Singers, play for their session Belmar, a b-side off their single Dancing on our Graves. We picked up the charming trio from a bar in Kings Cross, hailed a cab, the cab said no, hailed another cab, and all piled in. We were unsure what to expect given we had never seen them live. No need to worry, not with that crystal clear folk voice of Pete and the warm guitaring of Derek and Marty. Were most definitely going back for seconds, tonight in fact as they headline Bush Hall. And if youre feeling especially greedy, the album, Invitation Songs, released on Matador, is 35 minutes of time well spent.moreless
    • Fleet Foxes
      Fleet Foxes
      Episode 46
      Looking at them, you wouldn't think a band like Fleet Foxes are about to challenge the likes of The Fratellis and Coldplay for the number 1 album spot in the UK this weekend. Robin and Josh look like apostles from a distant, better land. We saddle up in the cab outside ULU, a venue they could have sold out twice over that night. Josh explains he is just there to give Robin moral support. And so with just a guitar and voice that could potentially break all the windows, we set off around the back streets of HolbOrn. Robin gives a breathtaking performance of Crayon Angels, once performed by Judee Sill. His performance is flawless and poignant. We finish, pay up and Robin hands the driver a copy of their debut album, already a classic, as a thank you. Unbeknown to the cabbie, that copy could, one day, be worth a lot more than the cab ride.moreless
    • Micah P Hinson
      Micah P Hinson
      Episode 45
      After weve hailed a cab off the street, we approach the cabbies and ask them if its ok if we use cameras in their carriage to shoot a musician playing a song..and if they say yes, then we ask them to drive around so that we end up where we started. This time we were unclear: we vaguely gestured towards Soho Square, in which we were standing, and said it would be great if he could drive around this area. Only after wed done the third lap of the square did we realise our error. Round and round the merry go round. But quite frankly who cares when Micah P. Hinson, with that crackly defeated voice, is the soundtrack.moreless
    • Bon Iver
      Bon Iver
      Episode 44
      Perching on a wall below the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, was where we found Justin, aka Bon Iver. Reams have been written on him and his album - apparently inspired by heartache after breaking from his girlfriend and band, and written in the Wilderness somewhere in darkest Wisconsin. An album and story with the name For Emma, Forever Ago - chapters recorded in songs that resist falling into that all too tempting trap of pain-inspired, self-indulgent cringe. The songs are instead delicate and intimate and haunting. And so, meeting this man, knowing his album and story, was something we were more nervous about than usual. But we neednt have worried, Justin was disarmingly down to earth and charming. And his session, as we drove around Buckingham Palace in the sunlight, along the Strand and back to Trafalgar Square, made London, briefly, sound as beautiful as it looked.moreless
    • My Morning Jacket
      My Morning Jacket
      Episode 43
      The thing that comes to mind remembering this session, apart from the lovely two My morning jackets, clad in cloaks and carrying an omnichord, is the cabbies. The first cabby we hailed was an escaped convict. Maybe. Because once we explained what we were planning to do, he covered up his face and declined saying 'I don't like cameras me, never want to be on TV, please leave'. Attempt two was a whole different kettle of poisson. This cabby couldn't have been more up for it and at the end said he would go straight to buy their cd. And judging by this performance, we'd say he's on the right track.moreless
    • Sunset Rubdown
      Sunset Rubdown
      Episode 42
      There's something special about tonight. It's a regular 'summer' evening in London: muggy, noisy, a chill in the airbut there's a buzz to it that's getting us a little excited...
    • Death Cab For Cutie
      Death Cab for Cutie was a big one for us. Yes, they're massive in terms of record sales, but we're also huge fans. The night before the session, we went to see them play in Camden. We stood at the back and just watched them do their thing whilst the crowd went off, singing along to each song and dancing like madmen. It was incredible, and even more incredible that the next day, we calmly met them and went about our business, ABC reporters in tow who were filming us filming them (very meta)  and before we knew it, we were all sitting in a pub with the band, the evening sun setting behind us and the beers only beginning. Remarkable band and a session (dare we say it - a 'death cab session'?) to match.moreless
    • The Futureheads
      The Futureheads
      Episode 40
      Relentless English rain soaked us as we walked from the tube station to the hotel lobby where Barry Hyde, front man of The Futureheads, was waiting. Reuters were also there to film us filming them, (very meta someone commented) - so two film crews and one musician. But Barry was unphased, smiling all the time and very up for the whole experience. Whilst the cab pulled away, the rest of us waited impatiently for their return, and low and behold, who do we bump into, but the manager of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club  another charming person who was keen to talk more about this project of ours. Two lovely people in the space of an hour  makes one almost forget the rainmoreless
    • Fireworks Night
      Fireworks Night
      Episode 39
      'Have you got permission to film here?' A question that is met with silence and confusion. We're in Waterloo station with a band, a film crew and a journalist from one of the nation's best loved broadsheets. "We're just meeting here. We actually film bands in taxis'. Now it's the station manager's turn to look confused We've decided a trip south of the Thames would make a nice change of scenery for the day's session with Fireworks Night. Fireworks Night are half their normal size for the session but it still means it's a squeeze fitting in a banjo, a fiddle and an acoustic guitar. But somehow they pull it off as they sing 'What You Don't Know'. For a brief moment our little venue, racing along London's wet and overcast streets, is full of their magic sound. Before we know it, we're done. We pay the cabbie, pack up the gear, exchange pleasantaries and go our separate ways.moreless
    • Phosphorescent
      Episode 38
      Its a beautiful sunny day in central London. We're thrilled that we're about to meet one of SXSW's most talked about performers. Matthew Houck AKA Phosphorescent greets us with the words 'So guys, where can i buy a guitar....?!' Not the best start to todays Black Cab Session. We arrange to meet back by The Borderline in an hour so he can hit Denmark St to find himself something to strum. An hour is passed, a cab has been hailed and we're all in agreement that it is indeed an excellent hat that Matthew wears! Patrick the cabbie moves away slowly and we hit the record button. Suddenly the cab is filled with the sweet soft vocals of our favorite Phosphorescent song, 'Wolves'. With the sun drenched streets of London as his backdrop, Matthew becomes a sillohette in the camera lens and all we see is a dark figure singing some of the sweetest music we've put on tape.moreless
    • Lykke Li
      Lykke Li
      Episode 37
      Lykke Li caught our attention when we saw a clip of her singing in a public loo. This is our kind of musician we said to ourselves: shes into live music, good acoustics, confined spacesshes clearly got the same blood running through her veins. So one sunny evening last week we met her near Soho. As she walked towards us with her two band members, all smiles and megaphone in hand, we knew wed made a good decision inviting this Swedish gem on board. Her performance  check out the occasional dance move  was something special indeed. When we said our goodbyes, she was busy planning her impromptu singing session in Columbia road flower market the next day. Eat your heart out My Fair Lady.moreless
    • Charlie Siem
      Charlie Siem
      Episode 36
      Firstly, did anyone else know that cab seats can go down? When Charlies bow kept hitting the roof of the cab, we all thought were done for, this is a dud, weve wasted everyones time, theres no hope, if we slowly walk away perhaps no one will notice All until the cabby jumped out his seat, moved us all aside, opened the door, asked Charlie politely to get out and then in one swift movement lifted up the entire back seat of the cab. There, that should do it, try that Charlie he said, smiling. So we were off, leaving The Barbicans sleepy road behind us as Charlie attempted one of the most technically and physically challenging (check out the sweating) pieces of music ever written. When asked, after the session, why he had chosen such a tricky piece, his reply was simply Well, I knew it would be a challenge playing in a moving vehicle, so I thought I might as well do a challenging piece. This is why hes a prodigy in life and we are not. Happy to observe though Charlie, we were very happy to observe. www.charliesiem.commoreless
    • Baby Dee
      Baby Dee
      Episode 35
      So, we're in Shepherds Bush again. Trying to find a cab. Again. Its raining. Again.... Does the sun ever shine in West London? It's looking bleak, until contact is made with possibly the nicest cab driver London has to offer. John, as he's known to his mates, 'loves music' and is well up for the session. We drive to Bush Hall to meet this weeks performer. As we get out of the cab, John asks if he will be on TV. There's an awkward silence... Outside, we're greeted by Baby Dee - Drag City's latest signing. Our initial trepidation at the sight of her fiery red hair and enormous Dr Martin boots quickly vanishes as she reveals a wonderfully warm, calming persona. Armed with an accordion or as John calls it, a 'gadget', Dee plays a few opening chords of 'Safe Inside The Day' and for the next 5 minutes we're transported to a different world. Such a heartfelt voice has not been heard in these headphones for years. Her guitarist, Paul, accompanies on backing vocals, playing delicate guitar patterns beneath Dee's sustained squeeze box, her voice floating through the interior of the now very steamy black cab. It's a pleasure to witness this transgendered genius at work. We drop her back at the venue. John is beaming from cheek to cheek. We all are, having witnessed something extremely intimate and beautiful.Check it out. The camera never lies....moreless
    • Pete And The Pirates
      Ooh aaar Black Cab Sessions ahoy! Set sail for davy jones' locker, shiver me timbers, pieces of eight, have you ripped them songs off napster? Phew. Sorry about that, the urge was so strong that we just had to get all the pirate stuff out the system quickly. because here we are. with Pete and the you-know-whos. We had an inkling they'd be pretty good as they'd had a bit of a warm up; the promo for this very song 'Knots' is, funnily enough, also performed in the back of a moving vehicle. Fair enough, but there's always the element of the unknown when you ask a band to perform it live in one take. So how did it go eh? Well, we like it. We like it loads actually. We're still not sure why they're called Pete and the Pirates though - possibly because they're good at hitting the high c's.moreless
    • Killa Kela
      Killa Kela
      Episode 33
      Given the limited amount of room in the back of a cab, we always thought a one man band would do pretty well. Two sprang to mind. there was the traditional version, tooled up with harmonica, bass drum, cymbal, accordian etc etc, such as Dick Van Dyke playing to Mary Poppins. Or there was a modern day take on it, armed only with a mic, such as Killa Kela playing in front of millions at the MTV music awards. Both clearly have their merits. But we plumped for Killa Kela, who just edges it on beats and multi-vocals. He also has a better london accent than dick. Anyway, we made the right choice. Seeing him this close up you really appreciate just what an extraordinary talent he has. We have no idea how he does it or when he breathes, but we do know that it's a performance that ticks all the right (beat) boxes. And, as ever, we hope you like it. P.S for a free mp3, or if you will, an mp-free, have a goose at
    • Hot Club De Paris
      Hot Club De Paris
      Episode 32
      Seeing as there's around 25,000 black cabs operating in London, our policy of always hailing them straight off the street should, in theory, be a pretty sure thing. Especially when we meet the band in the centre of town. but for whatever reason, when we met Hot Club de Paris near Leicester square, it was like we'd walked into some kind of black cab Bermuda triangle. With Barry Manilow ringing in our ears we searched high and low but to no avail. And so it was that we traipsed over to Charring Cross to join the long line of suits and theatre goers in the queue of a cab rank. As we waited patiently, with guitar cases and camera bags, slowly moving towards the front of the line, it possibly didn't feel very rock and roll. But as we chatted to the two charming old dears behind us, it did feel that maybe these sorts of situations are what the black cab sessions are all about. So to the two old ladies: we hope you enjoyed your musical, and if you've worked out how to use the internet, we hope you enjoy this session (and sorry about the swearing).moreless
    • Spoon
      Episode 31
      In a way we're slightly amazed it took this long, but after thirty righteous chapters and a Motherload of rock, Spoon just happens to be the very first sessionist in the cab to don a pair of sunnies. Maybe if we'd ever had bono and his orange perma-specs on board then the duck would have been broken much sooner, but we hadn't, so the honour fell to spoon. and to borrow a line from a recent octaganarian - didn't he do well? He pulls it off with aplomb. In fact, he wears them so effortlessly that we didn't even notice them on him until we'd watched it back a few times. We guess if you're going to wear sunglasses in February then it all helps if you can play a good tune. And this is certainly true. So we hope you enjoy this session - and if any future artists are planning on accessorising, then good luck, as the bar has been set very high.moreless
    • Jonny Byers
      Jonny Byers
      Episode 30
      We like the idea of taking a musician/artist out of their habitual context and putting them in a foreign one - we reckon it gives new life to the performance and makes it more interesting to watch. Nowhere is this more marked than in this session  where we invited Jonny Byers to come and play in the back of our cab. Jonny's quartet is one of the best in the world  they've played everywhere to everyone, and won the most prestigious of prestigious awards. But Jonny's never had his work cut out for him as much, so he said, as he did here. Perching on the edge of the back seat of a moving cab and clamping the Baroque cello between his legs whilst playing Johann Sebastian were not ideal conditions for balance and concentration. But he did it  and it's beautiful.moreless
    • Stephen Fretwell
      Stephen Fretwell
      Episode 29
      There's a war going on people. The very existence of London's black cabs is under threat from the inexorable rise of the machines - namely Peugeots six-seater people carrier machines. Machines that could soon start replacing the hackney carriage on the streets of London. Gerry Facenna, chairman of allied vehicles who make the Peugeots has recently said, rather ominously: "Things have got to move on, look at the red phone box". yeah Gerry we're looking, and what we see is a classic design of iconic red, domed roof and Grecian door replaced by a long streak of plastic called the kx100 plus. And Gerry, no doubt you'll cite the end of the Routemaster as progress. Progress? The Bendy Bus? Well why don't we go and stick a digital clock on Big Ben while we're about it? Come on Gezza, wake up mate. Leading the resistance is Ian Pickering, whose company makes the black cabs. His thoughts? "We don't want London cabs to be another amorphous, bland product." Amen to that Ian. Stephen Fretwell playing in the Peugeot six-seater sessions doesn't really have much of a ring to it does it. Instead, here he is in a black cab - hope you like it Gerry.moreless
    • Benjamin Zephaniah
      Benjamin Zephaniah
      Episode 28
      We're always mindful of that really lame scene in happy days when Fonzie is water skiing and jumps over a shark. It shows us that things quickly start going downhill when a concept veers too far from its original premise. So our mantra - one song, one take, one cab - is something that we will always stay true to. However, what is also true is that the hackney carriage is quite a good vehicle (ba-boom) for other types of performance. One of them being poetry. Especially when it is being performed by an absolute master of the art. So we thought it worth a little foray away from music, to welcome a hero of ours into the black cab: Dr Benjamin Zephaniah. A real privilege it was, and the resulting session is, quite simply, poetry in motion.moreless
    • Okkervil River
      Okkervil River
      Episode 27
      Just to pre-empt any pedants out there: no, strictly speaking, this session did not take place in a black cab. Kensal rise on a Sunday afternoon doesn't seem to be much of a magnet for Londons iconic vehicle. But we waited, and searched, and tried standing at different junctions, all inwardly praying that we'd soon see that beacon of orange hope atop a familiar black roof. But as the minutes ticked by, this session was beginning to feel like it had a slow puncture. Until, that is, we saw the minicab sign out of the tail of our eye. Why not? It wasn't perfect, with us sitting in the foot well with knees up to our chins, but in the absence of anything else, it would certainly do. So for this week only, let us present the minicab sessions, with Okkervil River singing 'Big Black Car' - a song which feels rather mournful, given the absence of our dear friend the big black cab.moreless
    • The Felice Brothers
      Thanks largely to the efforts of bros Hanson and the hapless 'nil points' Gemini, the track record of bands made up of siblings is not too hot. Ok so maybe we do have a soft spot for the Jackson Five but that was a long, long time ago. But hey, who's this we've got in the cab? why it's none other than Ian and James Felice (with other brother Simone and runaway friend Christmas holed up in the trunk). These boys are dynamite. If you have a rickety old back porch that smells of bourbon and looks out over the Hudson River, then that's the place to watch this latest session - as long as your porch has a Wi-Fi connection, of course.moreless
    • The Kooks
      The Kooks
      Episode 25
      Bit of a milestone this one what with it being our 25th session 'n' all. If we'd realised earlier on we could have hailed down a silver cab and named this one the silver cab session. In quieter moments, we wonder if we'll ever make the century, and be able to turn to the Pavillion, Duncan Fearnley held aloft. But generally we're chuffed to get quarter of the way there, and we reckon we'll just keep them coming as long as we've got enough shrapnel for the meter. Meantime here's the latest session. It's a keeper that's for sure with the Kooks on board. It's a double header too - something old, something new. Hope you like it.moreless
    • Lightspeed Champion
      BBC new music shorts invites filmmakers to pitch in a treatment for one track from a selection. Winning treatments are then given a budget to make the promo. Which is what happened to us. Have a goose at the news posts. It's a good scheme. Anyway, the tracks to pick from were quality, with the likes of king creosote, Gravenhurst and Cinematic Orchestra involved. Lightspeed Champion was also there. And we so nearly had a crack at pitching for his track drylips. But we plumped for bad is as bad does by the Earlies in the end, and it turned out nicely. Nevertheless, we still hankered to do something with Lightspeed Champion so it was ace when we fixed this session up. As for Dev, he pretty much rolled out of bed into the taxi. His very first chord of the day is the first one you hear. There's something pretty cool about that kind of insouciance.moreless
    • The Raveonettes
      The Raveonettes
      Episode 23
      We've been all over London to film these sessions. Part of the fun, for us anyway, is seeing all those stories speed past the window as the taxi motors along. But then there's this session, where we tried to slip onto oxford street and got caught at the mother of all red lights. We must have only moved about 500 yards in the whole song. But it's hard to really care about stuff like traffic, mayor ken, and the impact of the congestion charge when you're sat in the back of a taxi being played a corker of a tune by the Raveonettes.moreless
    • Scout Niblett
      Scout Niblett
      Episode 22
      Amazing. Head out of London and you find a whole country absolutely teeming with life. And, if you look carefully, you'll even find the odd black cab. Although we'd done twenty-one sessions straight in the nation's capital, we never felt that the idea was exclusive to London - there are plenty of other great looking British cities and many of them are even serviced in transportation terms by our dear, dear friend the hackney carriage. And so, when we found ourselves off on a jolly to the Bristol film festival, and we found that Scout Niblett would also be down there at the same time, it felt like an opportunity too good to miss. Fair enough lugging all our kit down there was a bit of a morale sapper, and as we traipsed around the city trying to find the venue we did occasionally curse this hair-brained idea. But, when we finally met Scout, and the amp was plugged in and we were driven off around the harbour by Ali, our very welcoming cab driver, we knew that it had all been worth it. The black cab sessions were on tour.moreless
    • Noah And The Whale And Laura Marling
      Our twenty-first session was a night for firsts. Never before in twenty sessions had we met a lady cab driver so it was high time for the feminine touch. it needed something special, namely our first double a-side black cab session with charlie from Noah and the Whale and Laura Marling. Laura sings 'Alas I Cannot Swim', the title track of her soon to be released album. The album was later nominated for a Mercury award. Can there really be more? Well how about we throw in another black cab first - the first time we've had four instruments in a session. Nice job all round.moreless
    • Cold War Kids
      Cold War Kids
      Episode 20
      da na na na da na na na da na na na DA NA NA NA BLACK CAB! Just in case you didn't get that, it was our very own variation of the original batman theme tune. You may be wondering what the significance is. Well, it just so happens that there was something very batman-esque about this particular session. Stay with us here. There was no batmobile, no Alfred and not even a rubber nipple in sight. But there was a batphone. very much so. it's a secure, high-priority line that comes straight into BLACK CAB SESSIONS HQ from the music industry - A black cab phone, if you will. it is for urgent times. it is for when we need to roll out for a session with almost no pre-warning. no matter if the band are only in town for a day. no matter if they're on the other side of london. no matter if they only give us an hour's notice. if they call the black cab phone, we'll be there quicker than you can say holy rusty metal. the reason is that all it takes for a session to happen is the simple co-ordination of getting ourselves and the band to meet at a designtated point at a designated time. and then we hail over a willing black cab. easy. we don't even need to use our utility belts. and so it was with cold war kids. we took the call at 5pm. and there we were at 6pm to meet them. Da na na na etcmoreless
    • Fanfarlo
      Episode 19
      We always hail the taxi straight off the street which means the cabbies know nothing about the sessions until about five minutes before we start. Once we've pulled them over, we talk them through the slightly weird premise and explain how it'll all work. And right then, just as we've done that bit, there is always the moment. It's the moment when the cabbie pauses, ever so briefly, before giving us the verdict. does he think we're complete jokers? Sometimes. But on the whole the London cab driver is a fine breed indeed. By and large they are game, up for it and just terrific sports. And then of course, there is Mike, our cabbie for this session. He practically bit our arm off he was so keen. We loved that. He was a massive music fan. And we loved that too. And he's got a young kid who is just starting to learn music. And we loved that too too. In fact, his kid is learning a couple of instruments which just happen to be the guitar and the violin. How handy then that we've got two such fine musicians, Cathy and Simon, playing said instruments on the back seat of his old man's motor. So to mike the cabbie - thanks a million for having us. and to mike's son - keep up the practising, and we'll see you for a black cab session in a few years.moreless
    • The National
      The National
      Episode 18
      We really really really like The National. So when we found out that they were in London for two nights, it became our quest to put them in the back of a cab. We badgered and bothered but in fact all we really needed to do was speak to a wonderful lady from beggars called Annette. You know how very occasionally you come across these rare peeps who are just so brilliant at being nice human beings? Well that's true about the lovely Annette. If this all sounds a little like we're brown-nosing, then that's possibly because we are a bit. But only a wee teeny tiny bit. The rest of it is straight from the heart because not only did she wangle us access to the band for the session, but she also gave us, drum roll please, free tickets and backstage passes for the gig afterwards. woop woop. And she even sends us free cds now and again. Woop Woop. How nice is all that? The answer is it's really nice. So Annette Lee from Beggars, we salute you. Oh yeah, The National were really really really good, but you can hear all that for yourself. You might not be able to see much though. it's the blackest black cab yet. Dark, mysterious, moody. And it's also pretty apt for a song that was the b-side of the 'lit up' single.moreless
    • The Brightlights
      The Brightlights
      Episode 17
      The sneaky thing is that these black cab sessions need not actually take up any of the artists time. there's always going to be a slot in the day when they have to get from a to b, so as long as we're on hand with engine running and camera rolling, we can do a session as they head to wherever it is they're going. This was very handy with the Brightlights. down from native Grimsby for one day only, the road to v winners were packing in interviews, meetings and soundchecks for their gig that night. Happily, they needed to get across town to channel 4 HQ, so naturally we were ready and waiting to give them a lift. And what a good journey it was. They were a cracking couple of lads. Keen as mustard and full of beans, it was a pleasure meeting them. plus they're pretty useful at knocking out a tune. As we pulled up at the destination we went our separate ways with big smiles on our faces. We got a song. They got a lift. Everyone's a winner.moreless
    • Elvis Perkins
      Elvis Perkins
      Episode 16
      Mental note: let's not drive around Shepherd's Bush when QPR are playing at home. the roads were as soupy as a fat man's veins and it was a right bugger trying to find a taxi. But we did, and as we inched along the green, our thoughts of burly fans in replica shirts and the travails of fizzy pop football washed away as Elvis knocked out "it's only me" with his harmonica and - for the first time in a black cab session - a twelve string guitar. Elvis was class in glasses, and it was a blinding session. Things weren't so happy half a mile up the road though. QPR ended up losing the match 2-1 to coventry city. Poor old QPR.moreless
    • Seasick Steve
      Seasick Steve
      Episode 15
      The Jules Holland Show. The Mojo awards. Reading. Bestival. End of the Road. Edinburgh. Glastonbury. Just about every other festival. And now, THE WORLD FAMOUS Black Cab Sessions. Yes siree, things have been ticking over pretty darn nicely for old Seasick Steve, his Mississipi Drum Machine and the Three String Trance Wonder. Here in the cab we have him playing his acoustic gee-tar like weve never seen a gee-tar played before. Chiggers (C-H-I-G-G-E-R-S) is the tune and boy oh boy was it fun. It took its toll though. Seasick Steve is not called Seasick steve for nothing. Oh no. The man does actually get seasick. In fact, it seems Steve suffers from motion sickness in general and by the end of the ride he felt ever so slightly nauseous. I woulda been called Carsick Steve but it didnt have the same ring.moreless
    • Jeffrey Lewis
      Jeffrey Lewis
      Episode 14
      Leicester Square is a bit rubbish. Ok so it has the odd cinema, but there are lots of things about it which just aren't right: 1. Mezze platters at all bar one, 2. Lazerquest at the Trocadero, 3. The Nightclub Equinox, 4. Planet Hollywood. We could go on, but let's just wave the white flag of peace for the time being, as it was here outside Capital Radio (5. former home of Chris Tarrant) that we met Jeffrey and Helen, and for that, we must be thankful. They were about to do a session for XFM, but we had just enough time for a quick spin around another, much better square. And what a peach of a day it was out there. One of those crisp, sunny autumn mornings where you just wanna be cruising round London in a cab, windows down, listening to a tune being played to perfection on a battered old guitar and a keyboard with no keys.moreless
    • Dry The River
      Dry The River
      Episode 13
      On April 1st, we are so hyped to be hosting a gig for Dry the River - the most exciting band we\'ve heard in months. Frontman Pete Liddle provides effortlessly moving vocals whilst his band harmonize and build towards catchy choruses that refuse to dissapear when the music stops. It\'s accomplished,...moreless
    • The New Pornographers
      If you are a little superstitious or just plain triskaidekaphobic then you may get a little jumpy about this latest installment of The Black Cab Sessions. It being number thirteen and all. But fret not friends, for all is well. Despite encountering an over-officious number of speed bumps, the ride was, at least aurally, as smooth as the sonic profile of a babys bottom. The New Pornographers nailed it. Probably never before have they had to play All the Old Showstoppers while skidding across the backseat of a Hackney Carriage, and maybe they never will again. Point is that it was an impressive display, especially seeing as theyd only just flown back in from Oslo at 5am that morning, and had wangled little more than two hours kip. Fresh as daisies they were, so well done them.moreless
    • Alela Diane
      Alela Diane
      Episode 13
      Ladies and gentlemen. 2010 promises big things for the wonderful talent that is Alela Diane.
    • Langhorne Slim
      Langhorne Slim
      Episode 12
      He's already done something like this before in his own promo for IN THE MIDNIGHT, so perhaps it's unsurprising that Langhorne should seem so at home in the back of the cab. This time around, it's a black cab - of course - and he's playing LORD (definitely best said in an Amercian accent) alongside previous Black Cab Sessionist Johnny Flynn. It's a champion performance and in fact once all done, the journey turned into a proper jamming session as the pair swapped songs and played off each other. There's plenty more where this came from, so if ever we find ourselves stuck on a rainy day, we might just see what other little nuggets we can find up the sleeve of Chapter Twelve...moreless
    • Shearwater
    • Miserable Rich
    • Mr Lif feat. Metro
      Mr Lif feat. Metro
      Episode 11
      The awesome Mr Lif and Metro adding a nice bounce to our SXSW sessions.
    • St Vincent
      St Vincent
      Episode 11
      Our first foray away from acoustics. It begged for something a bit special. So, behold St Vincent. Hooked up to an electric guitar, strumming a matchbox-sized Marshall amp to within an inch of its little life, she ramps it up with Dig a Pony. And boy did we dig her Dig a Pony. In fact, we were not far off mesmerised by the Texan. She plays the guitar like a dream. She has a voice like a dream. She looks like a dream. Did we mention the part about her being a bit like a dream? Anyway, enjoy this one, it properly rocks.moreless
    • Holly Miranda
      Holly Miranda
      Episode 10
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    • Vincent Vincent And The Villains
      Rush hour in the City of London, one of the major financial districts in the world. Over three hundred thousand financial workers are ending their working day and beginning the commute home, cramming into public transport, jamming the roads. Its busy and its stressful. And in amongst it all is a little bubble of fun, as a Black Cab Session winds its way serenely through the angry evening traffic. Except maybe its not that serene, as we find ourselves in the back with three of the band (count em!) wedged on the back seat, going all out guns blazing with sins of love. The Thames at sunset is usually quite picturesque, but with Vincent's dark tones providing the soundtrack, as faceless suits journey beneath a blood-shot sky, dusk kinda starts to feel a little bit menacing.moreless
    • The Mules
      The Mules
      Episode 9
      Notice anything unusual about this video? possibly the fact that mules frontman ed is usually going hammer and tongs behind a fat drumkit? pretty tricky getting one of them on board though. he's pretty nifty with the sticks, but it's clear here that he's also a bit of a talent WITH the guitar. of course, we always knew he could sing. alongside him on the violin is band member jenny, doing a sterling job as the taxi tears round battersea. we started out the ride in earls court, so no idea how we ended up here. guess the cabbie was up to his own bit of freestyling.moreless
    • School of Seven Bells
    • Bill Callahan
      Bill Callahan
      Episode 8
      You know how when youre about to meet one of your heroes, you kind of get a bit anxious that maybe theyll be a right nasty piece of work, and then that one experience will forever soil everything youve always loved about them? Well we neednt have feared at all with Mr Callahan himself. When we first met Bill, we found him ironing a shirt especially for the Session. That melted our hearts. And then he was kind, and polite, and just a real gentleman. And then he gets in the cab and pulls out the stops with Riverguard from the album Knock Knock. And then that voice, it's even more haunting in the the flesh.. And then he leaves and goes smiling on his way, and so do we, more sure than ever that Bill Callahan is worthy, very worthy, of our worship.moreless
    • Here We Go Magic
      Here We Go Magic
      Episode 8
    • Eugene Mcguinness
      We met Eugene in Marble Arch for a quick drink before the Session. The only pub we could find was a naff Wetherspoons that smelled of wee. Ah well, things soon improved as we ventured out into the evening sunshine, hailed a cab, and let Eugene sing his socks off. His rendition of Bold Street is a cracker, and the first line handily begins with the words Black Cab. Nice. Once over, as the cab took us back along Hyde Park to the, ahem, WEE-therspoons, Eugene continued to entertain with some ditties and a sweet serenade that would have surely misted the windows had the correct atmospheric conditions cooled the glass to a temperature below that of the water vapour thus allowing for condensation.moreless
    • Ebony Bones
      Ebony Bones
      Episode 7
      Text To Follow
    • Daniel Johnston
      Daniel Johnston
      Episode 6
      Hi, how are you? Pretty good thanks, especially since we wound up sitting opposite one of our all time favourites. It was an honour and a joy to have Daniel and his college mate / demon guitar player Brett Hartenbach on board as we cruised around north London. There was one scare along the ride though. When we came to a standstill at some traffic lights a white van man pulled up alongside, and stared at us menacingly. Please, please, please dont shout anything obscene, we thought. But he didnt, and in fact as he heard Daniels song drift out of the window, were pretty sure that scowl curled up into a little suggestion of a smile. Ah.moreless
    • Nic Dawson Kelly
      Nic Dawson Kelly
      Episode 5
      It's a lively route this one, with the cabbie chicaning past post-houses and post-work drinkers while lurching between the pubs and the sex-shops. Feels right that we have Nic in there, with his mascara on and all. We like him - he's good and really unusual. In fact, we sort of think that if you nicked the teleporter machine out of the movie The Fly, and stuck Tom Waits and Antony and the Johnsons in the same pod, that Nic Dawson Kelly would come out the other end. Dunno, maybe that's just us. Anyway, his bespectacled friend Chris is excellent value. A youtube comment about him summed it up nicely: he's like Bez but on Earl Grey as opposed to crack cocaine.moreless
    • Toumani Diabate
      Toumani Diabate
      Episode 5
      Mali's finest Kora player gave us the pleasure of closing our at Field Day 09 sessions. A true gent with an incredible story to tell, Toumani Diabate should be hailed around the world as on of the great African musicans.
    • Luke Toms
      Luke Toms
      Episode 4
      How many people do you know that can pull off this fruity ensemble: natty tache, stripy shirt avec braces, proper hairdo, teeny boppers cassette player? One you say? Same here. And doesnt he just look like a million pesetas? But while the mans evidently got style, he also has real substance and this bontempi version of Another Day, accompanied by his guitarist friend Chris Marshall, is a proper gem. The song put us in such good spirits that we continued the evening at a nearby Islington pub, where Luke drank red wine, and chatted whimsically about his love for Cornwall. Lovely stuff.moreless
    • Ed Harcourt and Graham Coxon
      Graham Coxon and Ed Harcourt turn out to be mates - so instead of two separate cab sessions - we thought we'd get them sharing the backseat, with no prepared song, and see what they come up with. Here's what happened...
      Episode 3
      New York's very own The Virgins, stepped into our cab for the couple of days we were in the Big Apple. Donald and Wade gave it their all, singing their international hit. Take it away guys...
    • Freddie Stevenson
      Everyone loves music. If youve got a heartbeat its only natural, right? That's what we thought! And then we met this cabbie who just didn't give a monkey's. Even with the silky voice of Freddie Stevenson singing away in the back. Still, we're pretty sure most other people will like it. A pleasure it was having him sing his heart out, as the cab whistled around east London, past the Smithfield market as night workers unpack meat carcasses for the next day's trading. We're also pretty sure that we've seen the girl sitting next to him before on a slightly larger screen.moreless
    • Emmy The Great
      Emmy The Great
      Episode 2
      Our difficult second album. OK, OK, so its not like there was exactly masses of hype and pressure heaped upon us for Session number two but, you know, wed got off to a bit of a flyer with Johnny and, in some small way, had a bit of a rep to protect. Chapter Two had to be good. No, actually, chapter two had to be great. In fact  you can see where were going here  chapter two had to be emmy the great. And isnt she just? Along with T-bone on the fiddle, its a beauty of a performance. Charming too, as she cracks up a couple of times. We love that. As did the cabbie, who enjoyed it all so much that he let us off the fare. Nice touch. Great touch in fact.moreless
    • Champagne Champagne
      Champagne Champagne The 'Prince Paul' generation of Hip Hop like their beats and their lyrics. NONE of this Auto Tune nonsense! So enter Champagne Champagne - a band you'll no doubt hear more from in 2010. DJ Gajamagic + Pearl Dragon + Thomas Gray aka the commish stepped up to deliver one of THE ...moreless
    • Little Boots
      Little Boots
      Episode 1
      Welcome to the first in our American Sessions. 4 days in New York and 4 days at SXSW festival in Austin, Texas resulted in over 50 sessions being filmed and this is how we're kicking it off. Victoria 'Little Boots' Hesketh was surrounded by industry buzz at SXSW Festival and armed with her little ...moreless
    • Johnny Flynn
      Johnny Flynn
      Episode 1
      Oh, we remember our first time alright. There we were somewhere in east London, trying our utmost to find a cab in the rain, wondering whether this strange little idea wed had might, just might, somehow work. Well, we found a cab, bundled in the back, grabbed Johnny Flynn and away we went. The first Black Cab Session was upon us, and as we filmed Johnny sing 'The Wayne Rooney Song', for the first time publicly, with windows slowly steaming up around us, we started to feel that there might be something in this, and began to think that there could just be a bit more mileage left in these Black Cab Sessionsmoreless
    • Willy Mason
    • Weezer
    • Tribes
    • St Lucia
    • Zulu Winter
    • Jessie Ware
    • WALL
    • Eddi Front
    • Dan Bodan
    • Sharon Van Etten
    • Hot Chip
    • Sixto Rodriguez
    • Rufus Wainwright
    • Robyn Hitchcock
    • Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
    • Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
    • Black Belles
    • Chairlift
    • Charlotte Gainsbourg
    • Electrelane
    • Gruff Rhys
    • Givers
    • Ghostpoet
    • Feist
    • LIVE IN LONDON 7th FEB, 2013
      LIVE IN LONDON 7th FEB, 2013