Concert review: Veteran Hong Kong singers Shirley Kwan, Priscilla Chan leave audience wanting more

Priscilla Chan performs at Polygram Forever Live Concert in Singapore 2014. -- PHOTO : AMC LIVE
Priscilla Chan performs at Polygram Forever Live Concert in Singapore 2014. -- PHOTO : AMC LIVE
Tat Ming Pair perform at Polygram Forever Live Concert in Singapore 2014. -- PHOTO : AMC LIVE
Linda Wong performs at Polygram Forever Live Concert in Singapore 2014. -- PHOTO : AMC LIVE
Shirley Kwan performs at Polygram Forever Live Concert in Singapore 2014. -- PHOTO : AMC LIVE

PolyGram Forever Live Concert

Singapore Indoor Stadium, Last Saturday

In its heyday in the 1980s, PolyGram was synonymous with Hong Kong music superstars such as iconic band The Wynners and God of Song Jacky Cheung

Alas, the bigger names were absent from the two-hour Singapore leg of the show that commemorates the label's 30th anniversary. With only five artistes performing here, the line-up paled in comparison against the original held in Hong Kong last year, where Cantopop legends such as Alan Tam, Kenny Bee and Hacken Lee shared the same stage.

Still, it must have been a treat for the 3,000-strong audience to be able to catch their idols of yesteryears - Shirley Kwan, Daniel Chan, Linda Wong, Tat Ming Pair and Priscilla Chan.

For Kwan's fans, the short five-song appearance of the silky-voiced singer was especially precious, as it was her first performance in Singapore. True to her famed I-do-what-I-like attitude, she was clad in a simple black-and-gold dress that made her look like she just left the office to sing karaoke on the minimally designed stage.

But if it was karaoke, it was a great session. Kwan's signature breathy technique of her classic ballads Happy Are Those In Love and Cuddling Under The Stars brought back old memories of bittersweet love.

Daniel Chan, in contrast, seemed untouched by time. The 38-year-old with a toothy grin retained the boyish charms that mesmerised so many teenage girls in the 1990s. Not surprisingly, the fans who waved along to his saccharine love songs such The Heart Already Knows and Loving You, Hiding From You were the youngest among the crowd.

Chan might hold the secret to eternal youth, but it was Wong who looked like she certainly benefited from ageing. Her figure might have been less flattering than her former svelte self back in the days when she shared the accolade of "Eternal Maiden" with singers Vivian Chow and Jane Chen Ming-chen. Yet, she exuded an air of elegance in her black ensemble, as she bantered wittily with the audience.

When a middle-aged man claimed that he was only in his 20s, Wong quipped: "You need to spend more effort on facial care then."

Wong, who has not been active in the entertainment industry until this concert, shared that many people would think that female singers only return to the industry when their marriages are on the rocks. "Mine's fine," she declared, without missing a beat. As she performed her Mandarin hit single Don't Ask Me Who I Am with greater maturity and finesse than before, she was visibly moved by the support from the audience, tearing towards the end.

Tat Ming Pair - comprising the flamboyant Anthony Wong and funnyman Tats Lau, best known for his role as a monk in the 1996 Stephen Chow comedy The God Of Cookery - lifted the spirits with four upbeat numbers including Ice Skating Rockers and the evergreen Stone Age.

The star of the night was Priscilla Chan. She was struggling in her high blue platform heels, and her blond short crop was a tad too loud for a 49-year-old veteran. In truth, all she needed was her solid and emotive voice, which she used to power through her Cantonese hits Fallen Snow and Silly Woman.

Her repertoire was too short at four songs, though. One wished that she had performed her famous duet with Jacky Cheung, Love And Promise, with one of the male artistes of the night. Sadly, not once did artistes did not appear on stage together, not even for a finale.

However, Priscilla Chan did reveal that she has returned to the PolyGram label since last year, and will soon be launching a world tour with a stop here.

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