Charlotte

biography - 10.05.2008 22:00

Charlotte

The three founding members of Charlotte are all from Yokohama, and so it would therefore seem fitting that they would 'unofficially' start activities in December 2000 with a test live at the Yokohama Sound Hall.

At that time, only Kazuno, Ruka, and Takane were proper members of the band, with a single support guitarist in the form of Mitsujou. Mitsujou soon joined the band as a proper member in February 2001 and then the new four-man Charlotte held another live at Yokohama 7th Avenue followed shortly by a demo tape entitled simply 'Charlotte'. At the end of 2001 Charlotte became the band as it would come to be known. A second guitarist, fellow Yokohama-ite Touya, joined and they changed the spelling of the band name from romanized 'Charlotte' into the Japanese script of hiragana.

Like many new visual bands starting out, Charlotte began embarked upon a hectic schedule of lives in order to get noticed, and they began on a good footing appearing at the Hysteric Media Zone concerts at Takadanobaba Area before the release of their first maxi single in September 2002. The series of live performances continued, and Charlotte's success grew.

The number of concerts Charlotte performed decreased in number as they concentrated instead on big events such as 'Stylish Wave 03' both the Spring and Summer tours and multiple CD releases, including two new maxi singles.
Their efforts paid off with a sold-out one-man concert at Takadanobaba Area in August. In October their success reached a new height with their Tobe tobe o yuugi coupling CD with MASK which ranked at number four on the Oricon Indies chart.

At the start of 2004, Charlotte returned home, for a one-man concert back where they began in the Yokohama Arena Sound Hall which sold out. They released the first of their mini-albums in 2004, rejoined Stylish Wave for its 2004 incarnation and embarked upon their first solo tour with concerts all around Japan, from Sendai to Hiroshima. They also hit the Oricon Indies Chart again in 2004; their single Koishinbou Manse!! reached number six, and considering that the chart takes account of all independent bands in Japan across all genres of music, it was quite the achievement. Throughout 2005, the band concentrated on touring again, joining the 'hev'n' tour and then their own one-man tour of Nagoya, Osaka and Yokohama. In January they released their first DVD Natsuyasumi no omoide ga oppai - saigo no XX happyo and then in December an album although curiously it seemed more of a best of and compiled together their most popular songs thus far; their 'SOLD OUT selection'. It was called Osharu no gakkou ichi goukan.

Despite all this success, however, it still came as a bit of a surprise when it was announced in August 2006 that Charlotte would be going major. They had always been one of the more unknown oshare bands, especially when compared to bands like Antic Cafe, and it was a bit of a wonder why Charlotte were going to go major while others were not.
In any event, the first major Charlotte release, Yokohama Love Story, appeared merely a month later. This was a touch confusing in itself, since Yokohama Love Story was a single release already for the band, back in April 2003. Nevertheless, it was a sign of their success that they had been granted a major contract. In December 2006, their first full album Sharu de nashi blues was released with an accompanying concert at Shibuya AX in November. This concert fully sold out and would eventually become the subject of their first full concert DVD released in June 2007.

The band made their first foray abroad in 2007 with a concert in Brazil organised by the Brazilian JaME team. Meanwhile, back in Japan they continued a number of live appearances including one at the 10th Anniversary of Zepp Tokyo although no new music appeared during this period. This has continued into 2008 with their next live appearance at the end of February at the Shinjuku Loft presents: 'shinjuku high school music fes'.
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