An Cafe @ O2 Islington Academy

O2 Islington Academy
07th November 2012
Written by Rachel Yarwood
Photography by Lorna Ransome

Maple Gunman
Kakusei Heroism - the hero without a name-
Tekesuta Kousen
Wagamama Koushinkyoku
Jibun Setsumeisho
Takaido (MC)
NYAPPY in the world 4
Amazing Blue
Snow Scene
Cherry Saku Yuuki

BondS -Kizuna-
Smile ichiban Ii

There is a genuine buzz of excitement amongst the crowd tonight as we wait for An Cafe to return once again on Islington Academy's stage. The house lights dim right on the half past eight cue which causes a sudden and unanimous amount of screams to greet the band as they enter one by one, each stopping for a moment centre stage in the lime-light, before taking their positions and beginning the show. 
The set list tonight is heavily influenced by fans' choice of songs but of course which ones and in which order? Nothing could have prepared us for the opening song, and if An Cafe themselves had thought the noise pretty loud beforehand, as Takuya leads the way into "Maple Gunman" the screams explode to ear deafening levels that even challenge the sound coming from Takuya's guitar. The crowd in its entirety, including those holding drinks at the back, raise their arms and jump in unison to the beat and rhythm. However even those who chose not to partake still bounced on the spot as the spring of the floor itself gave in, rising and falling along with the audience. 
"Kakusei Heroism ~The Hero Without A Name~" follows with more enthusiastic screams and Miku especially, seeming to feed off the energy from the crowd, grasps his very sparkly microphone with a smile to match those of the fans and dances with radiance.
His vocals tonight are really good, and after listening to them on newest album "Amazing Blue", you can tell the difference between studio recordings and live... and Miku's vocals live are undoubtedly on top form today. Even Takuya has improved drastically, especially from his debut on the 2008 tour, in his stage presence and in his guitar playing.
"Escapism" again receives a wonderful amount of appreciation. Even in the opening chords of guitar, the slower yet toe-tapping drum beat from Teruki that is followed closely by Kanon's accompanying bouncing bass line, the crowd instantly recognise once more a definite older favourite and are quick to raise their arms above their heads to mimic the dance moves that go along. "Escapism" is only the fifth song to be performed and the vitality of the crowd does not yet seem to be wavering in the slightest. The incredible vibes as another classic song is performed live for us is quite immense that you really have a hard time finding the effort to remain still. 
However, as the first notes from Yuuki's keyboard sound out the beginning of "Jibun Setsumeisho", the boisterous crowd soon slow to a calmer wave of bodies. Arms are still risen but swaying along to the more harmonic melody and smoother rhythm as An Cafe also take a breather and Miku stands quite still, centre stage, to give a heart warming live rendition of their ballad from the newest album. 
This was very well placed, giving everybody a chance to catch a breath, before the inevitable member introductions in which each member of the band in turn had their chance to greet the fans in... what English they could manage. 
Yuuki then, removing himself from behind the comfort of his keyboard, joins Miku at the front of the stage and the two of them take us right in to another fun and amusing dance song; "NYAPPY in the World 4". It is great to witness the interaction between them and the crowd, and even more so for Yuuki to get his own little chance of leading the audience, 'rapping' and dancing along with Miku to the amusement of possibly everybody watching.
Their last song, "Cherry Saku Yuuki", ends their main set on a positive high note. The crowd urging for more as soon as they leave the stage and it is only a short wait (very short in comparison to how long we can usually be left waiting) before An Cafe return for their encore of "BondS -Kizuna-" and "Smile ichiban Ii", wearing their tour tee-shirts and still smiling just as broadly as when the show first began. 
An Cafe's return from hiatus was one of amazement and excitement. Their new album "Amazing Blue" was received by many fans with just as much excitement as the news they were regrouping and of course the news of this world tour. 
The performance tonight from the five members of An Cafe left no room for scepticism about the rush of everything that has happened this past couple of years. The guys have shown that they are true showmen and Miku's final words of "We promise we will come back again" gives fans here the hope that they are ready to give us another dose of Nyappy fever.