Award-winning experimental folk: Leopold’s Treat 

Leopold’s Treat have dubbed their sound experimental folk.

“With our acoustic instruments, it’s kind of got a folky vibe about it,” Kate explained, “and a lot of music we’ve connected to is folk music.”

“Folk-banjo,” she said. “Very experimental… didgeridoo and weissenborn lap slide, tribal drums. I find it very healing.”

Kate said the most common reaction from other people at Leopold’s Treat winning Emerging Artist of the Year is the notion that they’ve worked hard to get where they are.

“I never think of it as being hard work,” Kate said, “but it’s made me look at what we have done and there is a lot that’s gone into it, so it’s nice that people can see that.”

Local venues and events have been knocking on Kate’s door since the win “more than before”.

“Venues have expressed that they like having us as a band and like having us play,” Kate said. “Venues recognize that award as being something – for the local area – and even people outside.”

“We used to play at The Loft, and places like that. We learned a lot and developed our sound. They were little venues. Now we have bigger venues and events,” Kate said.

It’s been quite the journey from solo artist to frontwoman of a three, sometimes four, sometimes five-piece band.

“It’s been incredible and also really supportive and organic,” Kate said.

“I was dabbling in solo playing and open mics and there’s always someone there saying ‘are you going to play today’. I didn’t think I was good at anything and people were like ‘just get up there, come on Katie, it’s your turn now’… people like Mattie Barker and Kieran (Richardt). I’d never felt supported by anyone like that in my life.”

Kate starts to get a little teary.  She said she’d never realised how disconnected she was.

“I grew up not feeling very supported, to no fault of anyone,” she said. “ I never felt I’d amount to anything.”

“When I started writing songs and finding freedom in that, it’s just been so amazing,” she said. “It’s that supportive you can’t shut it down and turn it away. You have to follow it and see where it goes.”

She said that changing relationship with people around her, and growing with her bandmates has shown her what having “amazing” role models can do.

“I’m really grateful for them,” she said. “They’re my foundation of support. They’re like ‘Katie, you can do it’ and in a way I feel they’re doing this because I’m leading the way,” she said.

“I still have that notion of ‘when are you going to grow up and get a real job’ but that only has as much power as I allow it to.”

Leopold’s treat are at NightQuarter (full band) on 9 September, SWELL Sounds (trio) on 18 September), Gold Coast Folk Festival (full band) 8 October, Buskers by the Creek (full band) 15 October and Gold Coast’s Biggest Tree Planting (trio) 16 October.

PHOTO: David Honeyman, Kate Leopold, Kieran Richardt.

Image (c) Shots. Fired by James Wills.

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