Musical powerhouse Katrina Leskanich is perhaps best-known in Australia for her band “Katrina and the Waves”, whose massive hit “Walking on Sunshine” is still a karaoke favourite.
Visiting our shores in July with the show “Totally 80s”, we spoke to her from London, where the Canadian-born muso has lived for the last twenty years.
The show brings together such artists as Berlin, Paul Lekakis (don’t know the name? You’d remember his hit “Boom boom…let’s go back to my room”), Wa Wa Nee, Martika and Men Without Hats, amongst others.
So are these all artists who know each other, or have they been thrown together by a promoter?
I think Limahl is the only person I’ve worked with before. I don’t think I’ve worked with any of the other artists. But it won’t take long to get to know everyone. I did the Countdown Spectacular in 2007 and I didn’t know anyone on that bill. But Samantha Fox was on that lineup and she is now one of my good friends. So maybe we will create some solid friendships out of this. There is a lot of solidarity between women in this business. I think, as women, we all understand the journey we’ve all been on, when you’ve had a career as long as the three of us women […]have: planes and trains and automobiles; bad meals; bumpy plane rides; sleepless nights in hotels; gruelling sound-checks and all of the elements you’re up against, it’s obviously easier for men to endure this business. Men can always have it all: it’s a man’s world, and nowhere more so than in the music business where there is rampant sexism. So it’s really great to be part of show where the top three billings are women.
Although mostly known in Australia for “Walking on Sunshine”, Leskanich has had a vast-ranging and highly successful career as a musician, song-writer and producer. We wondered if she ever gets sick of being dragged back to her days with “The Waves”.
Not at all. My whole career builds from “Walking on Sunshine” and all the work we put in with Katrina and the Waves. I wouldn’t be coming to Australia in July if it wasn’t for this history. By the time we first came to Australia, the song had been released for two years in North America, so it was beginning to dawn on us that this song was a bit of a phenomenon, and there wasn’t anything we could do to stop it!
So what can we expect from Ms Leskanich in this show?
Obviously, I’ll be doing “Walking on Sunshine”, but everything else from the repertoire we’re looking at now. I think, possibly, “Do You Want Crying?” might get in there, which was our second single after “Sunshine”. We just can’t have any new material, which is fine, because it’s all about the 80s.
Katrina and her partner and manager, Sher Harper, are also about to release a book “Metropoodle London”, which is about their favourite, quirky places in the city they love, guided by their toy poodle, “Peggy Lee”.
And just as we were asking about her, she started to bark in the background, clearly wanting to be part of the interview about “her” book!
“Totally 80s” plays The Gov, 21st July at 7.30 pm and there is also a VIP Meet and Greet available for purchase.
Interviewed by Tracey Korsten
Tickets available at http://thegov.oztix.com.au/?event=59258