An Cafe

biography - 09.11.2012 22:01

An Cafe embodies the oshare kei style perfectly with their colorful, cute image and merry sounding music. However, the band themselves prefer the term "Harajuku Rock Kei".

An Cafe was formed in May 2003 by vocalist Miku, guitarist Bou and bassist kanon. Miku's former band, Revirii, had disbanded two months earlier in April, and even though the band did not have a drummer at this point, they started to perform at several events. By performing at these events next to other largely unknown indie bands, An Cafe managed to gain a little publicity. The band released two demo-tapes, Opu-ngu and Uzumaki senshokutai/Hatsukoi, both of which were very limited and only sold at these early live shows.

Teruki was still with his former band, Feathers-blue, around this time, but he left in August and became a full member of An Cafe instead. An Cafe spent the remainder of the year performing at various events. Their cute image and upbeat songs soon garnered a small but very enthusiastic fan base.

2003 seemed to be more of a "try-out" year for the young members of An Cafe, but 2004 was really the start of their serious musical career. Through a record deal with Loop Ash - also the label of bands such as Mask and Scissor - the band released their first maxi-single, Candy Holic, in March. Within a week of its release, the single was ranked as the second biggest seller on the Oricon indie charts.

An Cafe's first one-man performance was in May at Takadanobaba AREA, which was, despite the small size of the live house, an important concert for the band. The concert, titled Happy Birthday Tsuyu, was a sold out event where the band distributed the single Hatsukoi for free.

The subsequent months were quite busy for An Cafe. Along with their touring, they released four singles, two of which were live-only. In addition to these releases, the band was featured on a handful of omnibus albums. SHOXX magazine also released a DVD/VHS special featuring the band. In December, An Cafe closed their successful year by taking to the road for a short one-man tour, which ended with performances at Takadanobaba AREA and Yokohama Akarenga Hall.

February 2005 saw An Cafe release their first mini-album, Amedama rock, which was a compilation of their previously released singles. The mini-album was followed by a maxi-single, Karakuri hitei, a month later. That summer, the band released a trilogy of one-track singles, Tekesuta kousen, Escapism and Merrymaking. They were released one at a time over a three month period and all the songs were also featured on Shikisai moment, their first full length album, which was released in November.

The new album showed a slightly new side of An Cafe. The songs still had the typical An Cafe sound, but it seemed that they had matured a bit, as the band experimented with new styles and instruments. The successful album was followed by four new singles and another album in 2006 and the popularity of the band was only increasing.

2007 was an important year for the band as several momentous happenings took place. Firstly, the band announced that they would make an appearance at the American anime convention, A-KON, which was an exciting event for their American fans. Unfortunately, only a short time later, another announcement was made: guitarist Bou would leave the band. This news saddened many fans worldwide. Bou's last performance with the band was on April 30th. In mid-May, An Cafe announced their new line-up. Instead of simply replacing Bou's position with another guitarist, they added two new members, guitarist Takuya and keyboardist Yu-ki, who both brought their own colors to the band.

An Cafe continued to storm the music scene as a quintet and soon after the line-up change, they also expanded their activities to Europe, performing at the European event J-SHOCK in Germany. After the release of three more singles, the band returned to Europe in March 2008, this time with a full tour, taking them to six European countries.

In April, their third album, Gokutama ROCK CAFE was released, and was also released in Europe and later in the USA. During the summer, they held an open-air live called ANCAFESTA'08 - SUMMER DIVE to celebrate their fifth anniversary. Soon after, another single was released.

In 2009, the band seemed as successful as ever, releasing two singles and another full album. Of course, the band was also seen on various stages across the country, and again they toured overseas. This time, they didn’t only visit Europe and a lone anime convention in the USA, but made their way over to South America and performed various times in the USA as well.

Everything seemed to be going well for the band and there were no signs about them slowing down any time soon, so it came as a colossal shock to the fans as An Cafe announced to be suspending their activities in August 2009. The announcement read that there were various reasons for the band to be taking this decision, but mostly because the band members needed to focus on their own activities in order to see themselves objectively so that An Cafe can step up to the next level.

An Cafe performed live together for the last time on January 4th 2010, at the Nippon Budokan. After this, the band members began focusing on their own activities, more about which can be found here. The announcement stated clearly, however, that the band would be back together again in the future.

In April 2012 the band announced its return, and that they would embark on a European tour called LIVE CAFE TOUR 2012 NYAPPY GO AROUND THE WORLD III ~TADAIMA OKAERI~ in November.

An Cafe has charmed many people all over the world with their catchy music and cute appearance and has shown that they can overcome problems together. We wish them good luck in all their future endeavors.
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