MONDAY night saw the launch of Southampton-based Kitty O’Neal’s debut album Giving in to You at Heartbreakers in the city.

The event marked the beginning of her 2-week summer tour, which includes gigs in Camden, Brighton, Bracknell and Brixton.

Kitty played the new album in its entirety, along with some older songs.

A year in the writing, the songs showcase Kitty’s distinctive voice and guitar playing, reflecting her folk influences but filled with soulful melancholy and groove.

Kitty’s relaxed performance had the audience dancing along to her singles Make it Yours and Without a Sound (recently featured on BBC Introducing: Solent), supported by her virtuoso band of Morgan Rickman (guitars), Frazer Pearce (bass and double bass) and Dan Keen (drums) who also recorded and produced her album.

But she was also able to pull the heartstrings with captivating renditions of her quieter and poignant songs, such as Blame Baby and For My First Love, played on acoustic guitar.

The staging was appropriately atmospheric, with large crocheted mandala hoops providing a fitting backdrop and flowers wrapped around the microphone stand.

Support was provided by talented Salisbury singer-songwriter Laura Goldthorp and the ultra-groovy local band Mokono.

You can catch up with Kitty O’Neal at The Art House in Southampton on Friday July 13, and she’ll be headlining the acoustic stage at Romsey Beggars Fair on Saturday 14 to finish her first UK tour!

By Michael Berkeley