Kimberley Rew is one of those British musicians who is revered among those who take the time to know the history behind their favorite pop tunes, but it would be overstating things to suggest that he is a household name, a fact which will seem particularly ironic once you have learned that he’s the composer of one of the bounciest and best-known songs to emerge during that dastardly decade known as the 1980s.
We’ll hold onto that bit of trivia for a moment, however, as we discuss some of his other credits.
Rew spent the late ’70s and early ’80s as a member of The Soft Boys, a group arguably best known for providing the world with an eccentric songwriter known for writing about fish, women, insects, and balloon men…not necessarily in that order. I speak, of course, of Robyn Hitchcock, who would go on to forge his own recording career after the dissolution of The Soft Boys. Rew did, too, with the release of a well-regarded EP entitled The Bible of Bop which found him backed by members of The dB’s, and somewhere around of the new millennium, he would finally get around to following that EP up with a full-length album (Tunnel into Summer) that subsequently led to a semi-regular schedule of solo releases. From a commercial standpoint, however, Rew’s greatest post-Soft-Boys contribution to music came when he joined forces with Alex Cooper, Vince de la Cruz, and Katrina Leskanich to form…wait for it…Katrina and the Waves.
That’s right: Kimberley Rew is the man who wrote “Walking on Sunshine.”
Tummy Tuch has just reissued the first two indie albums by Katrina and the Waves…entitled, appropriately enough, Katrina and the Waves and Katrina and the Waves 2…but, even more impressively, the label has also opted to reissue Shock Horror!, the record released by the band when they were simply called The Waves (don’t worry, Katrina’s voice still comes through loud and clear), as well as Rew’s aforementioned solo debut, The Bible of Bop. In conjunction with this return to record store shelves, Popdose was provided with the opportunity to chat with Mr. Rew via E-mail, but while we admit that we tend to prefer phoners, we were grateful to see that Rew actually took his time when composing his responses to our questions and gave us some great answers.