Eurovision

🇬🇧 Katrina – Love Shine A Light “overlooked” in 1997

The singer speaks about Eurovision - Europe Shine A Light and Eurovision 1997

Katrina Leskanich, who part of Katrina And The Waves won the fifth and currently final time fot the United Kingdom in 1997 has spoken about the impact the song has had before the win and after the win. This includes the central spotlight the song received in “Eurovision – Europe Shine A Light”.

Shine a light shone a light on shine a light

Due to the fact that the Covid_19 pandemic cancelled the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, the EBU had to come up with an adequate solution on the night the final would have aired. So they decided on Eurovision – Euope Shine A Light. The title of course being a nod to the 1997 winner. The show gave Europeans (and Australians, don’t forget them!) an opportunity to hear 30 second snippets of all 41 competing songs. This came alongside complimentary VTs and interviews.

The show culminated with a rendition of “Love Shine A Light” sung by 40 of the 41 entrants. The Belgian act Hooverphonic were absent due to creative differences.

Each of the 40 took a line of the song each. It finally ending with Katrina herself singing the final line “Love Shine A Light in every corner of our heart”. You can re live it below.

Katrina had this to say to the Press Association about the moment she was asked to record the line again and gave her reaction to the rest of the song. Here’s what she said.

I was shocked when they used Love Shine A Light on that show. They said, “Can you record a little bit?” and I did the very last bit. But I had no idea that everybody was going to take a line.

Emotional impact

Katrina also spoke about the emotional response she had to the song being used and the manner it was used.

I watched it that night and I was absolutely astonished. The orchestra is playing and it was all guns blazing. It was Europe shine a light.

It was almost better than winning it again, to have it featured in such a heavy way. I thought it was brilliant because it was so poignant and it worked so well for the times, and what everyone was going through. It really made it such a poignant and emotional moment.

Feeling like the odd one out

In addition to feeling emotional about the inclusion of the winning entry, she admits that she’s often felt like the odd one out when it came to UK and their winners.

I was absolutely delighted because I always felt like Love Shine A Light was never… People talk about the UK and Eurovision and they will always think of Making Your Mind Up and Bucks Fizz.

I remember winning with Love Shine A Light and feeling a little bit as if… I know Tony Blair and the Labour party. [The UK in Eurovision and the Labour Party both experienced historic landlide wins in the same week]. [They] had just come into power and it was a great time – it was a really up time.

She then went on to elaborate about the conflicting genres “Love Shine A Light” had with the music that was popular in the UK at the time.

It was very 90s and the music was very… druggy and upbeat. I don’t feel as if Love Shine A Light got quite the look-in that other winners got because of the circumstances. So when it was rebirthed for the Eurovision show it was incredibly beneficial for me and rewarding. A happy time.

What do you think? Does the song still shine a light for you? How do you rank it as a UK entrant, winner and contest winner? Please comment below or get in touch with us at @escxtra on all social media platforms and then subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Spotify for curated playlists.

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