Michael Ball has been a star for about 40 years now - but as he showed the sell-out crowd at the Ipswich Regent, there's little sign of him slowing down!

His packed-out show gave him the chance to demonstrate new material that he wrote and recorded during and after the pandemic alongside familiar numbers and show songs that have been his staple fare for decades.

It was clear during the concert that the experience of lockdowns and being unable to perform in front of large audiences had had a profound effect on him.

He is now relishing getting back in front of a crowd - and there was no doubt that he was enjoying the evening as much as those watching and listening.

His new work was great - it was both musical and thought-provoking. It will be well worth listening to again to truly appreciate it.

Much of the credit for that must go to Amy Wadge, who was both the support for the main set and joined him for some numbers towards the end of the show.

Amy is better known as a songwriter - she's worked with Ed Sheeran on many of his best-known numbers as well as being a co-writer of the UK's 2022 Eurovision number Space-man - and she worked with Michael on many of his new songs.

But it was the familiar standards that most of us will have gone away with in our heads at the end of the evening. "Love Changes Everything" and his own Eurovision hit "One Step Out of Time" which was the main encore were massive highlights.

For me the best moment of the night was his performance of Javert's showstopper "Stars" from Les Mis.

Michael has been performing the role in an arena tour of the show and you could really tell how much it meant to him. Judging by the standing ovation I wasn't the only one blown away by that.

A great show - and I suspect he really meant it when he said he hoped to be back in Ipswich again soon!