Reviews Zone

Kat Eaton: Honestly (Kartel Music Group) Out now…



4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



Sexy toffee anyone? No, it’s not me trying to offload left over Easter confectionary. “Sexy toffee” is broadcaster Gaby Roslin’s description of UK singer and songwriter Kat Eaton’s voice. Jools Holland’s opinion is less surreal; “A fabulous vocal talent”, he says.

A certain respected music publication who was ahead of media coverage in praise of Ms Kat, is quoted on her marketing bumph as saying: “Soul drenched and powerful. Bluesy, jazz-tinged and oozing with sheer class.” That music publication is none other than us: Music Republic Magazine.

We are and have been long-term admirers of this Welsh-born Sheffield lass and her vocal and writing talents – and that admiration is boosted with the recent release of her delightful new album, “Honestly”, via Kartel Music Group.

Having spent a decade based in London with husband and musical partner in crime Nick Atkinson, who co-wrote the songs here and produces “Honestly”, Kat is now back home in Sheffield, when she is not globe trotting on tour with her red hot band or in the studio crafting smashing stuff such as these 10 strong tracks.

Kat has toured the UK/EU supporting the likes of Jools Holland, Paul Carrack, The Teskey Brothers, Marc Broussard and Mamas Gun, alongside selling out multiple headline shows, co-writing with the likes of Caro Emerald, Ruby Turner and Roberta Campos, and breaking through to new territories via national radio play worldwide, and is very well respected soul and jazz performer.

After her acclaimed 2021 debut album “Talk To Me”,  the new one “Honestly” is more of the same: classy, sweet and soulful – all 10 original songs penned by Kat and Nick Atkinson. Her band is a powerhouse of talent; musicians who have played with the likes of George Benson, Ed Sheeran, Marc Ronson, Sir Tom Jones, Sir Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse and Gregory Porter.

Kat’s voice is perfect for mainstream radio [that caters for discerning music loving adults], and it has that velvety scrumptiousness a la Karen Carpenter, and raunchy and raw blues thang a la early Elkie Brooks. But Kat is definitely in her own lane in what she does and how she does it.

The set opens with strong values on “Addicted”. “Bad Advice” delivers gospel vibes – Kat likes her gospel style songs – including jaunty hand claps, and “Step By Step” is yet more gospel flavours. Not really a duff cut here.

more below….

Kat’s live shows in 2024:

1 Jun – Arthur’s Jazz & Blues Club, Dublin, IR

4 Jun – Ulster Sports Club, Belfast

13 Jun – Cluny 2, Newcastle, UK

14 Jun – Peggy’s Skylight, Nottingham, UK

23 Jun – Ronnie Scott’s, London, UK

28 Jun – Yellow Arch, Sheffield, UK

13 Sep – QBus, Leiden, NL

14 Sep – De Vorstin, Hilversum, NL

15 Sep – Poppodium de Bousil, Weert, NL

8 Nov – Aalener Jazz Festival, Aalen, GE

9 Nov – Leverkusen Jazz Festival, Leversusen, GE

The superb horn arrangements/performances from Trevor Mires (Trombone), Jim Hunt (Saxophone) and Louis Dowdeswell (Trumpet) are the icing on the cake across this record. The production values faultless; Kat’s vocals sound crystal clear and have not been messed about with as regards “the talent button” – aka reverb. This is a singer’s singer and auto- tune would be a cuss word if anyone with a mental impairment suggested it. Phrasing, tone, pitch: spot on throughout.

Nick’s guitar chops are well measured and a snug fit for this material. He wrote the Kat Eaton single lifted from the album, the lovely “Time We Said Goodbye”. Kat says the song is “….about moving on, specifically for us, on and out of London to live back up North to be closer to our families. It’s only been a year so it’s still bittersweet. We miss the buzz of London, but this album wouldn’t be what it is if we’d stayed”. It follows previous singles “Bad Advice” and “Addicted”.

Current single, “Ain’t No Mardis Gras” was from an idea inspired when Kat heard someone saying “ain’t no mardi gras” on a podcast, and she knew she had to get it into a song. A purely a capella track, (with hand claps and foot stomps) and its about sticking to who you are, “know your tribe, and don’t be pushed into being someone you’re not.” It features Natalie Duncan on backing vocals . Kat and Natalie Duncan’s backing vocals add superb value across the album.

Seems the word is out about Kat and her musical skills; since she has released new music, streams have shot up to in excess of six million on Spotify. Kat calls that “wild”. Once you hear her voice, these songs and this album; you’ll probably call it well deserved. We do, honestly.


Words: Steve Best

Photo: Chris Saunders [Album cover shot: Ross Jarman]



1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’






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