By Hilary Porter

AFTER the chilled country sounds of acoustic singer Chris Bannister - Preston's answer to John Denver, left us feeling mightily laid back Heather Small transformed the atmosphere of the Regent Centre in a heart-beat.

The voice of 90's dance band M People stepped on stage to the strains of One Night in Heaven and instantly set the uplifting tone of the night.

Dressed in a skin tight Lycra cat suit with a plunging front to reveal her cleavage and sporting a mane of bright red afro hair and high heels she strutted, gyrated, wiggled and danced throughout the entire show.

The mix of hits and feel-good covers certainly hit the mark as the super-trim 51-year-old demonstrated just how to hold back the years.

Her distinctive, deep, soulful voice did not waver despite seeming to lead the Regent through a high impact aerobics workout.

The warm-up came with a tribute to Elkie Brooks, who she cited as a major influence, as she performed the classic Pearl's a Singer, swiftly followed by the disco sounds of Michael Jackson's Rock with You.

The tempo stepped up another notch with the uplifting Sight For Sore Eyes , swiftly followed by the ultimate dance anthem, Witney Houstons 'I Wanna dance with Somebody'.

The energising, upbeat mood continued with songs that captured all the positivity of the 90's era, from Search for the Hero, to How can I love You More - and the sensational Proud - the eponymous lead single from her solo album that sound-tracked everything from the 2012 Olympic bid to the last episode of Miranda.

Heather was accompanied by a great band and two backing singers- one of which, 'Brian' joined her for a brilliant rendition of Don't Look Any Further featuring a brilliant sax, followed by the Northern Soul album track How Can I Love You More.

There was one last trump card up their sleeve as the encore ended with the 1993 smash hit Moving On Up. Fantastic!

Heather Small is back for a second night at the Regent tonight. Call 01202 499199 or visit for ticket availability.