Kanon x Kanon: The Euro 2011 Tour Finale Interview

On Friday 18 November 2011, visual duo Kanon x Kanon (pronounced ‘Kanon Kanon’) concluded their debut European tour with a performance at the O2 Bar Academy in Islington, London. The pair had been to Europe and the UK previously, but with their respective other projects; gothic Lolita cello-vocalist Kanon Wakeshima had performed a charity performance at Hyper Japan in London, while Kanon, the male bass-player of the popular oshare kei group An Cafe had been to Europe and the UK on several occasions with the band.

We caught up with the twosome in London for a chat about miracles, double decker buses,  and their plans for 2012… and is that a hint from Kanon that An Cafe will be back next year? Read on and find out.

In the meantime, Kanon x Kanon’s digital EPs are available now in the UK, more information on these is available on our site by clicking here.

For live photos from Kanon x Kanon’s London live performance, check out JPU buddy Kevin Gilvear’s gallery of the evening by clicking here, and also by viewing our slideshow at the end of this interview.

You’ve both played and visited Great Britain before, please tell us about your impressions of it.

Kanon says:
“I love the buildings and architecture here, they’re so cute! I could walk around British towns all day long and never be bored.”

Kanon says:
“Double decker buses!
They are cool.”

What can we expect in 2012 from Kanon x Kanon?

Kanon says:
“We want to visit more places and maybe release some new songs, but we’re doing things at our own tempo.”

After touring with the all-boy company of An Cafe, how do you find touring with a girl?

Kanon says:
“Aaaaaaah…. touring with the An Cafe guys is great!
I miss touring with the boys…”

And how’s life on tour with a boy for you, Ms. Wakeshima?

Kanon says:
It’s ok. :)”

The internet has been rife with rumours that An Cafe will be back in the summer of 2012, are these rumours true?

Kanon says:
“An Cafe is still on hiatus…
But there’s always a chance that we’ll get back together.”

And what are your plans for your solo career, Kanon Wakeshima?

Kanon says:
“I’ve been conducting my solo shows in Japan for the past few months. They’ll run for four consecutive months in total, and the final date of the tour will happen when I return to Japan. The tour is produced entirely by myself and the songs I play are my new songs, which I also produced. I’m hoping that these songs will go towards my next album.”

Tonight is the final date of your Kanon x Kanon x Kanon Euro Tour 2011, what have been the highlights?

Kanon says:
“I had some technical problems with my DJ set in Moscow. It was the first date of the tour and I was worried I’d have problems for all the dates. But now the tour is over I feel relieved that there wasn’t any major problems.”

Kanon says:
“For me, the biggest highlight was visiting new countries for the first time and having the people welcome us with so much energy. Their energy gives me the power to continue. Thank you all so much.”

On this tour, Kanon Wakeshima allowed fans to request anime themes for her to cover. Did some of their choices surprise you?

Kanon says:
“Yes! Pandora Hearts! I’m surprised people outside of Japan know this anime, it’s kind of niche in Japan. So I was wondering how they know it.”

Kanon says:
“‘Moonlight Densetsu‘ from Sailor Moon! There were so many requests for this song. I was also surprised, like Kanon, at how European people watch and learn about anime. There was lots of requests from K-On!, it made me think ‘hmm, is K-On! popular in Europe?'”

Were there any anime songs that Kanon secretly requested for Kanon Wakeshima to play?

Kanon says:
“Yes! You can guess my request, you saw it when you arrived.” [when I got to the venue, I caught Kanon playing around with Miku Hatsune stuff – Tom]

Which Japanese artists do you think we should keep an eye on in 2012?

Kanon says:
Tom H@ck! He worked on a lot of the music from K-On! and these songs have become so popular in Japan. He’s a great musician and a great guitarist. I think 2012 will be a big year for him.” [He also works heavily with the visual kei group SuG – Tom]

Kanon says:
“Hmm, I’m not really into current pop music so I’m not sure… but idol groups have become popular again, so maybe they will continue to be strong next year.”

It’s almost the end of the year, do you have any new year resolutions for 2012? And did you achieve your  resolution for this year?

Kanon says:
“Yes, I accomplished this year’s resolution. And next year I will be very busy, so my resolution is to work hard.”

Kanon says:
“I can’t remember my resolution from last year…
But for 2012 I want to make miracles!”

Do you have any final messages for fans in the UK?

Kanon says:
“As always, thank you for your support UK! I will try my best, both in Kanon x Kanon and in An Cafe, if we decide to start again. Eitherway, please support me.”

Kanon says:
“Tom, thank you for always supporting me. And thank you to the people of Great Britain too, of course. I’m thinking of creating some new and exciting for next year, so I hope people will enjoy it.”

Here are some images of Kanon x Kanon’s London show, courtesy of Kevin Gilvear.

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Double Impact: Kanon x Kanon Come to London

Because one Kanon is never enough, Japan is throwing TWO our way! On Friday 18 November Tokyo’s premier cello-vocalist Kanon Wakeshima, and An Cafe‘s openly otaku bass-player Kanon Whatever-his-surname-is will perform at the O2 Academy Islington as the unit Kanon x Kanon.

Tickets for the duo’s debut UK concert are on sale now for the princely sum of £24 (plus the usual ridiculous fees)  and is part of the kanon x kanon x kanon tour. Those wondering where the extra Kanon materialises from, it is in fact an extra Wakeshima. Well, the same Wakeshima, just counted twice. Once as Kanon x Kanon, and once on her own because she will also perform solo during each date. That’s double the Kanon for your money! Or should that be triple…

If you want to stock up on the twosome’s releases so far, European label Gan Shin has released both of their singles on iTunes UK (amongst other digital sources). The first release in Japan, the Koi no Doutei EP, is £1.79 and contains the title track,  B-side ‘Ren Ai no Susume’ and quite possibly the worst remix we’ve ever heard. Their second release, the Calendula Requiem EP, has the title song, a version of it without vocals, the track ‘The Dollhouse!’ and is also priced at £1.79. You can pick up the track ‘Umigamesuupu’, left off of the digital release, for free download (legally!) on Last.fm.

Hyper Japan Announces Musical Guest for Feb 2012: Natsuko Aso

The UK’s biggest Japanese pop culture event, Hyper Japan, is returning to London for a third year, and bringing with it the 21 year old actress and J-pop star Natsuko Aso!

She shot to fame as Negima!‘s grumpy, anti-social tech-freak Chisame Hasegawa in the series’ live action adaptation (she also provided opening and ending themes for the show), and soon appeared in several other Japanese TV shows, including a cameo in the country’s superhero series Kamen Rider W.

Outside of Japan Natsuko Aso’s probably best known for her work in anime, including songs in Yasuhiro Imagawa’s (Gundam G, Giant RoboShin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-Hen, and the accompanying anime series to the card trading craze that took over Japan this year, Cardfight!! Vanguard – a collaboration between Yu-Gi-Oh and Duel Master‘s creators.

She will be appearing at Hyper Japan on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 February 2012. Last year Japan’s premier cello-vocalist Kanon Wakeshima performed her debut UK show at the event. Tickets for Hyper Japan, taking place at Earls Court’s Brompton Hall, are on sale now for all three days of the event, as well as tickets to the 2012 Sushi Awards, and the 2012 Sake Awards, and are available by clicking here.

Japan Underground will be at the event with our shop selling CDs, DVDs and more. See you there!

Japan Underground @ Hyper Japan! (From 22-24 July)

We'll be interviewing Kanon Wakeshima live on stage at Hyper Japan!

Japan Underground makes a return to the convention circuit, this time with a booth at Hyper Japan, the UK’s biggest J-culture party! Taking place from Friday 22-24 July at Kensington’s Olympia Two (click here for a map), the event showcases the very best Japan has to offer in terms of cuisine, culture and darn right coolness. Just some of the things on offer which we’re personally excited about include the official UK Sushi Awards (we like our food!), award winning manzai comedy from Japanese duo JaruJaru, fashion from the likes of lolita brands Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Alice and the Pirates and the first UK performance from Kanon Wakeshima, the multi talented music prodigy produced from visual kei visionary Mana!

We’ll be there with our booth selling Japanese music singles, albums, EPs, DVDs, Tshirts and magazines – come by and have a browse, or just a chat about music from Japan!  Plus! We’re very honoured to have been asked to join the panel for the Kanon Wakeshima Talk Show on Friday, and to conduct the interview with Kanon live on stage throughout the weekend. Very exciting stuff! See you all there!

You can read Tom Smith’s feature (Japan Underground’s founder and resident DJ) on Kanon Wakeshima on the Manga UK blog. Our booth will also sell the very special charity EP Mother, featuring Jpop stars Naomi Suzuki, Ayako Nakanomori, Mari Natsuki and Yuki Koyanagi from our recent charity concert Japan, We’ve Not Forgotten You in London. All proceeds from the CD will go to charity.

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