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KATRINA LESKANICH(Ex Katrina and the Waves) chats to Jen about the upcoming Totally 80’s Tour.


Get ready for the Best 80s Night Ever! TOTALLY 80’s!

 TOTALLY 80’s Stars 7 International 80’s Superstars – MARTIKA, BERLIN, LIMAHL of KAJAGOOGOO, PAUL LEKAKIS, KATRINA (ex KATRINA & THE WAVES), MEN WITHOUT HATS & STACEY Q will be together – live in concert – to perform all of their classic hits. Sharing the stage with them will be 2 of Australia’s own Countdown Favourites WA WA NEE and REAL LIFE!

KATRINA (UK) ex KATRINA & THE WAVES had one of the biggest 80’s hits with their power pop classic Walking on Sunshine reaching #4 here, it’s second highest chart position in the world only behind Canada. KATRINA was last here in 1987 as part of the Countdown Spectacular.

 I had the chance to chat with Katrina about this tour and much more.Katrina Leskanich 4

I hope you are as excited as the other artists on this Totally 80’s tour that I have already interviewed!  How many times have you been to Australia now?

I have been to Australia three times now, the first time was in 1985 and then I was there four years ago with the two with Samantha Fox. We had so much fun on that tour. I have never been to Australia in July, so I’m really looking forward to this. I am looking forward to working with some artists that I never have worked with before which is kind of unusual. I have worked with Limahl before but I have not worked with the other women on the bill so it should be really really fun and I hope we have as much fun backstage as we do on stage!

Sounds great! I was looking through your facebook and came across your hilarious post with the pic of not using hairspray as it sets off the fire alarm … and you posted ‘What the feck! It’s 80s night.’ 

That is so funny! Hope you can use your hairspray here! is there some particular hairstyle or costume that you are going to use this time?

The particular hairstyle that I will be going for  is the one that my hair decides it’s going to have on the night! (both laughing)  My hair always has had its own agenda. Whatever I tried to do with it, hairspray or not it has a mind of its own. Sadly I usually end up with the amount of sweat and running around on stage and whatnot I ended up with a really grotesque bowl cut.  No matter how I get my haircut I always end up, at the end of the night with a bowl cut. It all comes falling down. We shall do our best we can, it can also be a mullet!  So will see what happens. (laughing)


I was wondering, as Walking on Sunshine is such a massive hit, do you feel that your other accomplishments as a musician are overlooked?

I don’t really,  I just assume that there are a lot of other artists that I only know one thing that they do and it is always kind of fun to discover that somebody is a painter, somebody wrote a book or somebody did something else. I find that you can’t really ram that down peoples throats, they have to come to you in their own time and come to you when they are good and ready. They come to you when you have sparked their interest about something else you do. There is no point going on about it. I know that Walking on Sunshine, Don’t it feel good will be written on my gravestone. I think that the day that I accepted that as the truth about me and what I am, I could rest easier instead of having sleepless nights and headaches all day long thinking ‘ I am so much more than that song’. Really you are just what you are.

When you wrote ‘Walking on Sunshine’ did you feel that it could be a hit?

Well I did not write ‘Walking on Sunshine’, if I did I would probably be in the Betty Ford Clinic by now. When I first sang the song I knew that it had an irritation factor that I thought could have helped it out. There are so many other factors when you have a song that enable it to become a hit and we had so much luck at the time when we were first signed with Capitol Records. We had signed with them even before ‘Walking on Sunshine’  I think they saw something in the band. They were mostly led to the band by song that The Bangles covered. The song ‘Going down to Liverpool’ was originally ours and that was what first drew interest in us. So it was a little bit of luck. Then we had a really hot summer, like everything was perfect for the sound for all the artists coming out from the UK. There was lots of money and posterity and happiness and joy and I think that is why ‘Walking on Sunshine’ really took off. For  a lot of people, a lot of ways and in a lot of movies.

Yes, I was looking at how many movies it was in last night. Incredible amount.

Katrina and the Waves had a very lengthy career, nine albums and even winning awards like such as the Eurovision song context with “Love Shine a Light’ , which led to another record deal.  Congratulations! What made you enter this competition?

The organizer for Eurovision that year was a guy called Jonathan King and he knew of us and ages casually said “Listen do you have anything you could put forward for Eurovision, we want to try very hard this year to try and win it. We said “Yes we have this song called ‘Love Shine a Light” We had left the song in the bottom drawer because it was to Eurovision for us to do as we are more of a kind of pop rock band. He had a listen to it and said it was perfect and we thought that he would get somebody else to sing it, somebody else much younger, somebody new on the scene, somebody English and Warner records came to us and said that they wanted us to do it because they thought we had a lot of confidence and experience in Europe and they thought that it would do really really well in other European countries. So it was kind of unexpected that we ended up doing it. I have never ever seen the Eurovision Song contest before, it was all new to me. But we enjoyed it and it paid off as it was a worthwhile experience for us. It ended up being that ‘Love Shine a Light’ was bigger on paper than ‘Walking on Sunshine’. It put us back into the business, which is exactly what we needed so it was great.

Was launching a solo career a little scary or was it easy for you?

It was not scary as this is what I do, when ‘The Waves’ split up, I had been working on radio BBC 2 for a year and then I did some musical theatre for a while and then I was writing a couple of books and all the time I was still recording just an automatic thing to do. There was a time there went by when I didn’t record anything so I came back last year with an album called ‘Bliss Land’ which I think you can pretty much download for free on So I came back with that which was an album of material that I had written myself and it was a lot of fun, certainly a great experience, I toured America with it. You know I do see in the near future me recording any new material. I don’t force it every year. I am too lazy to do that.

What is next for you after the Totally 80’s tour?

Well life goes on, I have lots of work, all of my dates can been seen on My book ‘Don’t it Feel Good’ we have 3 chapters on the website and we have another book called Metro Poodle which is a book about the funnest things to do in London represented by my little white Poodle.

Thank you very much for your time Jen.

Thanks, I look forward to seeing you in Melbourne.

You bet, I can’t wait. Thanks.

Totally 80’s Australian Tour Dates:

 Tuesday 12th July – BRISBANE Eatons Hill

Thursday 14th July – GOLD COAST Jupiters

Friday 15th July – MELBOURNE Palais Theatre

Saturday 16th July – SYDNEY Enmore Theatre

Wednesday 20th July – PERTH Astor Theatre

Thursday 21st July – ADELAIDE The Gov

Friday 22nd July – HOBART Wrest Point


Tickets on sale NOW from:



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