Love Shine A Light 25th Anniversary featured in PRS Magazine
2022 marks a staggering 25 years since the last UK winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, 1997’s Love Shine A Light by Katrina & The Waves. M Magazine asked the writer behind that smash hit, Kimberley Rew, to break down how it all happened.
“I’m not really a ‘Eurovision-style’ writer, or part of that music establishment. It was not as part of a plan. Some years I’ve listened to our entries and thought that I don’t invest emotionally in the song. But this year, I think Sam Ryder’s song Spaceman is quite subtle, and there’s a lot of feeling in it — he sings it beautifully. I think it’s about time for him to do well. Do I mind him winning and breaking our record? He doesn’t need my permission!
There was a bit of weird chemistry in Katrina & The Waves because it was really Alex Cooper’s band. He was the drummer but was essentially in charge. We also had a lead singer with a mind of her own and then there was me — the main songwriter. There was a bit of an imbalance. The dynamics in a band really change over time, and you’ve got no idea until it happens. You start a band and struggle a lot before you eventually have a hit record, and you think, ‘Oh, great, we’ve made it,’ then actually still have to get on with your life and try and make something of it. By then, we’d been together for 15 years, and I was trying to write something that nobody could possibly disagree with. It had to work for everybody, and in an odd sort of way I think that helped to make it work for Eurovision.
I was very defensive in writing sessions by then and we would have these big arguments. I was really just the writer and the guitarist, and the others in the band could all write. I think they used to sometimes wonder, ‘Why do we have to have this guy do the songs?’ So, I had to keep justifying myself. Agreeing on anything within Katrina & The Waves was not very likely, but…”
Interview by By Jamie MacMillan