LAST time she made headlines she was suffering from dehydration, but at her much-hyped comeback gig this weekend it was very much the opposite problem for singer Amy Winehouse.

Although the spokesman for the troubled starlet said she was forced to abandon her triumphant return gig on the Carribean island of St Lucia due to heavy rain, Winehouse had earlier appeared to forget lyrics and at one point had to be helped to her feet after apparently falling over, prompting some fans to boo her and brand the concert a waste of money.

But despite the 25-year-old's erratic behaviour, her PR insisted the difficulties had arisen purely from the weather. A spokesman for the singer said: "Amy would like to express her disappointment that weather forced the abandonment of her show at the St Lucia Jazz Festival. Amy and the band tried to soldier on but the set had to be cut short."

Torrential rain had flooded the wings of the stage, posing a risk to the band and causing "technical difficulties", her spokesman added.

Winehouse has been staying on St Lucia, which she describes as "a home away from home", for several months. Before the gig she described it as "an honour" to be playing the St Lucia Festival alongside such jazz luminaries as Monty Alexander and George Duke.

"Since I first came to the island I have been greeted with nothing but kindness and friendship, as well as incredible music and the most beautiful of settings," she had said. "I have made friends for life and have been inspired by my surroundings. The laid-back lifestyle definitely suits me."

The performance was to have been her way of saying thank you to the island's people who had welcomed her during her troubles, Winehouse said.

However, message boards after the gig were filled with angry fans complaining about an appearance punctuated by confused outbursts and half-hearted singing. One poster, identified as Victor Phillips, wrote: "I was there and she was booed off stage. If it was the rain, why did the act after her perform?"

Photos from the gig show Winehouse, dressed in a skin-tight blue minidress, drinking during her set and at one point removing her high-heeled shoes after apparently struggling to stay on her feet. She has suffered from well-documented problems with alcohol and drug abuse in recent years, temporarily calling a halt to her award-winning career. Before her problems were brought into public focus, Winehouse won five Grammy awards, a Brit award and several Ivor Novello prizes.

At her most recent gig, however, which follows a hiatus of several months, the singer seemed irritated with fans. At one point, local reports said, she cut a song short and muttered "Sorry, I'm bored", and she is said to have told the crowd to "F*** off" before her unplanned early exit.

Observers had recently expressed hope that Winehouse would clean up her act after appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court in March on an assault charge over an alleged attack on a fan in London last summer.

In April this year she was taken to hospital in St Lucia after fainting because of "dehydration". Doctors kept her in for observation overnight before releasing her with a warning to drink more fluids and stay out of the sun.

In a sign that she may be keen to turn away from the public eye, Winehouse was last month successful in a bid to ban paparazzi photographers from approaching her around her North London home.