Sunday, April 27, 2008

Music That Makes Me Smile

When I listen to the music of Katrina & The Waves it's hard not to develop a big cheesy grin across my dial. Their music just projects that kind of happy upbeat vibe. And it's not frivolous, bubblegum pop either - well not in my opinion - and not that there's anything wrong with frivolous bubblegum pop - with a tight knit sound and the powerful vocals of Katrina Leskanich, this band was a serious band.

The quartet comprised Leskanich, guitarist Kimberley Rew, drummer Alex Cooper and bassist Vince de la Cruz. Their breakthrough hit 'Walking On Sunshine' (U.S. #9, U.K. #8 and OZ #4) gave the impression that these trans-Atlantic popsters had just been washed on to the charts by the latest wave. But the truth is they'd been paddling in the pop-rock waters for several years previous and it was persistence and hard graft that gave them the success they richly deserved. The band had formed in England during 1981 and had released several independent label singles and two albums before achieving 'overnight success'. 'Walking On Sunshine' has become one of the quintessential 80s signature songs, but Katrina & The Waves were more than just one ray of sunshine on the pop landscape.

Other hits followed including 'Do You Want Crying' (U.S. #37), 'Sun Street' (U.K. #22) and my favourite track 'Is That It?' (OZ #82 in 1986). The group had taken some time off in the early 90s, but bounced back to prominence in 1997 with the U.K. #3 hit 'Love Shine A Light', which just happened to be the official U.K. entry in that year's Eurovision Song Contest, and indeed the winning entry!

Katrina & The Waves were a band that took music seriously, but knew how to have fun doing so.

The clip to the song reminds me more than a little bit of the fun you used to see The Monkees have on camera.

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