Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Heather Small: Indigo2, London 19/03/09

Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09
Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09 Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09 Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09 Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09 Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09 Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09 Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09 Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09 Heather Small: Indigo2 19/03/09

The former M-People vocalist Heather Small and latterly Strictly Com Dancing contestant attempted a relatively short intimate gig recently at venue IndigO2 - the little brother of the O2 Arena.

And, although her performance was solid and competently executed, it only generated a fraction of the expected excitement. The upstairs balconies did not give the impression that they were exactly brimming with anticipation, applauding only mutely â when required, and sometimes almost begrudgingly. Only on certain famous M People tracks did small section of the audience show real enthusiasm. To be fair, it was not Heatherâs fault. She did her best to keep it interesting, mixing up her set blending , Jazzy Soul numbers with M People tunes and her own solo work. Her own inimitable deep sexy husky vocals penetrated through the furthest recesses of the venue (even the noisy upstairs bar).

During 'Ainât Love a Surprise' the infectious latin rhythm caused Heather to produce a few nifty dance moves, that is until a malfunction with the strap on the black dress she was wearing forced her temporarily off the stage. Amid much fits of hilarity from the audience and eventually Heather herself, she reappeared re-attached with safety pins and it was straight into 'One Night in Heaven'. The varied program also contained a number of easy listening covers, a highlight of which, was a very laid back version of Elkie Brooks 1977 hit 'Pearlâs a Singer'. 'Search for the Hero', which many consider to be one of M-People greatest songs received an undeserved lackluster reception as did âProudâ, at least from the upstairs audience. However, a smouldering arrangement and delivery of the timeless classic 'Summertime' was superb and this was followed up by a quality tribute to the greatest queen of 1920âs vaudeville blues Bessie Smith with one of her songs âTake me on a buggy rideâ.

The eclectic set then took another twist throwing an Abba cover 'Fernando' that morphed into a reggae beat into the mix. Finally, in the twilight moments of the show with M-People classic dance number 'How can I love you more' and the up-tempo 'Moving on up' sections of the audience awakened from their slumber and started shaking their booty but my no-one means everyone. There is a saying in racing -âHorses for Coursesâ and this course or more accurately the spectators did definitely not do justice to one of our finest ambassadors of 1990âs British Soul.

All photos c/o Simon Pollock. For more visit www.gtvone.com
Words DARREN LEWIS

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