ON the night of the warmest day of the year an audience gathered for the next best thing to a concert with Aretha Franklin.

We may have lost the Queen of Soul last summer, but this summer her spirit lived on thanks to the powerful pipes and megawatt smile of Janine Johnson.

With a back catalogue of more then 100 Aretha singles to choose from, it was never going to be an easy tribute show to put together, but Respect got it spot on.

While it felt very much like a well sung homage with the opening number Respect, Janine's timbre later hit the mark so close to the voice of Aretha on soulful numbers like Chain of Fools and I Say A Little Prayer, it was uncanny. By the time she closed the show with Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves, the only audience members not on their feet were the older audience members unable to stand for any length of time and the men who felt self conscious about 'ringing on their own bells'.

Accompanied by Malcolm Maddock and an eight piece band, Janine was at her finest, in her words 'taking us to church' and singing many of the big powerful numbers we associate Aretha with. Her rendition of I Knew You Were Waiting with her backing singers taking centre stage to join her was sublime.

But the stand-out moment for me had to be Johnson introducing us to one of Franklin's lesser known numbers It Hurts Like Hell from the 1995 film Waiting to Exhale.

It had the woman in front of me in tears and reminded us all that the sound of Aretha should be shared for years to come by those blessed with a stand-out voice like Janine Johnson. I suspect it won't be long until we hear from this talented lady again.