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Though Morrissey opened the show with his 1988 debut solo single Suedehead and followed it with a quick succession of classics from the 1980s and the 1990s, the 20-song setlist leaned heavier on his post-millennium albums.

New or old, Morrissey still has a lot to say

Oct 21, 2016 5:50 AM

WITH Morrissey only recently revealing that he has undergone cancer treatment, the last-minute announcement that his show originally scheduled for last Saturday had to be postponed set off some alarm bells.

It doesn't help the 57-year is notoriously private and no statement was issued from his camp. (The unofficial word is members of his band and crew were down with a flu bug picked up at the tour's previous stop in Jakarta.)

So far, so Morrissey, but the silence and arrogance is also what makes the former frontman of The Smiths a pop enigma and a fascinating character for his fans to unravel.

And all 2,500 who made it down to Marina Barrage on Monday evening for the rescheduled gig probably heaved a collective sigh of relief when he took to the stage looking a picture of health. In fact, it can be argued Morrissey appeared even better than he did at his last show in Singapore at Fort Canning in 2012 - he's still trim for a guy his age (it must be the vegan diet) and never once ran out of breath during the 100-minute gig even after the recent health scare.

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Only the humid weather led him to perspire more than usual and he tore off his sweat-soaked shirt to toss into the crowd a lot earlier than usual - about six songs in, rather than at the end of the show which has become a tradition.

Typical of Morrissey, he didn't feel the need to offer an explanation of Saturday's no-show; and neither were the fans expecting one from an artiste as famously cryptic as his lyrics.

Though Morrissey opened the show with his 1988 debut solo single Suedehead and followed it with a quick succession of classics from the 1980s and the 1990s - Alma Matters, Everyday is like Sunday, Speedway, Ouija Board Ouija Board - the 20-song setlist leaned heavier on his post-millennium albums. In fact, only three Smiths songs were performed - How Soon is Now, Meat is Murder and What She Said. Even some of Morrissey's better-known solo tunes like November Spawned a Monster and The Last of the International Playboys were noticeably missing.

While it was not exactly turning out to be an evening of Morrissey's greatest hits, the newer material wasn't half-bad: World Peace is None of Your Business, the title track off his 2014 album, and Ganglord, an obscure 2006 B-side, in particular, sounded relevant in the wake of the upcoming American presidential election.

That was also enough to make everyone hang onto every word the English singer-songwriter-author sung and said - which is something you won't find this recluse doing much of outside of his gigs.