Internationally touring singer Kate Leahy journeys home
KATE Leahy was born to sing - there's no other way to explain her clear talent and songwriting ability.
With beautifully written and honest lyrics, her songs form the basis of easy, yet intriguing listening.
Kate and an exciting line-up including Weathered and Steve Butler will be touring to Gladstone for The Village Festival Road Trip at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre Marquee Marina on August 3.
"I taught myself," Kate explained when asked about her angelic, rustic voice.
"Although in saying that, I did get a lesson a week for about six weeks."
Kate has been singing since she was 16 and proudly announced that she began her vocal journey of fame in Gladstone.
"We moved to Gladstone when I was at the end of grade 10," she said.
"My dad lives in Boyne Valley."
Boasting three EP's - with her third to come out soon on iTunes - Kate has already experienced much of the international touring life.
Her first leg-up was surprisingly enough at work, where she discovered the joys of tinkering on a bizarrely placed piano.
Kate said she was approached by a short film director who asked her to write the music for the film.
"That went to America and won some short film festival," she laughed.
In short - that is how Kate's singing career began.
After living in the United Kingdom for six years, experiencing a life of fun, yet grey skies and dreary weather, Kate came home to sunny Australia with a slight pommie accent.
"I remember seeing the blue water and feeling overwhelmingly in love," she explained about being back in Australia.
"I was so happy to be back."
And according to her track-record, Australia was happy to have her back.
Kate said it all started fitting into place for her music career.
She even received the number one spot on Triple J's Unearthed in 2009.
"That was really cool and from there I got offered to play at a big festival in Germany."
So back on the big plane it was.
But of course, half way through the next song, half a dozen pairs of men's underwear came flying at me.
Kate figured it would be ideal to set up a big tour in Germany, which lasted six months - two of which were primarily for rehearsals.
"I ended up doing 20 shows across Germany and the UK, in France and Switzerland."
One of her fondest memories on tour involves some roses, thousands of people and some underwear.
Kate explains in detail.
"I was touring Europe in 2010 after the release of my first EP and I got invited to do a show with some well known German performers.
"Obviously I jumped at the chance and after the show, in the green room, we all got chatting.
"I asked one of them what size crowd he normally plays to and he said around 80,000 - 'It's great fun, I get flowers and underwear thrown at me'."
The unusual tradition seemed to be beez neez for performers in Germany.
At the next show Kate did, the crowd was incredible sweet, throwing roses on the stage.
"I was feeling a bit cheeky though," she said.
"And I told them what the famous German singer had said to me."
Kate received a laugh, which was all she expected, after thanking her audience for the roses but telling them about the underwear tributes.
"But of course, half way through the next song, half a dozen pairs of men's underwear came flying at me.
"One even landed on my shoulder.
"Mid song, I burst out laughing, tears rolling down my face, it was the most hilarious moment I've ever had on stage."
The singer/songwriter's latest EP is slightly different from the others, and while the tracks are still written from personal experience, Kate believed the stories are clearer.
One track in particular is about cool water.
"It's about life in Queensland summer.
"It's so hot in the middle of summer and you're waiting for that storm to break at any moment, yet still enjoying it and wanting release from it all," she explained.
Sometimes the busyness of life catches up to her, but Kate is ever grateful to those who make it possible for her to plan such tours as this.
She particularly thanked Creative Capricorn that supports arts programs in the community.
"They have been a huge help with this tour," she said.
While majority of her time this year has been taken up with preparing for The Village Festival Road Trip, Kate has also been preparing for her happily ever-after.
"I'm getting married in September," she said.
"And we're building a house right now as well in Yeppoon."
Her fiancé Martin Schlick is ironically from Germany of all places and while he doesn't possess the same musical talent as Kate, the two sound perfectly in love.
"He's the opposite of a musician," she laughed.
"When he sings he makes the dog cry."