Apparently these days and ages you have to be careful what you wear before you board a plane, a lesson Violent Soho found out the hard way after they were prevented from boarding a flight to Melbourne.
Violent Soho frontman James Tidswell got through check-in, security, and arrived at the gate when he was stopped by Virgin Australia staff and told he would not be allowed to board because of his t-shirt.
The t-shirt in question? A Painters and Dockers black t-shirt printed with the name of the band’s 1990 single ‘Eat, Shit, Die’.
Tidswell was told that “new terrorism laws” meant that he could not wear the shirt on the plane, he revealed to Fairfax.
Tidswell and bandmate Luke Henry were flying to Melbourne for the Independent Music Awards where Violent Soho cleaned up winning Best Album, and Best Hard Rock, Heavy, or Punk Album.
He was given the option of removing, changing, or turning inside out his shirt if he wanted to board the plane by an airline employee.
“She was really apologetic and she was to some degree shaking, she just said she feels really bad having to ask but I am not going to be allowed on to the plane in the clothes I am wearing,” he said.
“I said ‘are you sure?’ and she said, ‘yes, definitely’. She said it was not a thing from the company but it involved the new laws due to terrorism, and with what is written on my shirt, I would be considered a threat.”
Not wanting to miss the awards, Tidswell complied and took his shirt, turning it inside out in order to board the plane.
He later posted a photo of himself in the shirt to his Instagram account along with another photo of him topless and enjoying a beer in the airport lounge.
“We almost didn’t make it to the awards and I guess had I put my foot down as a human being living in a free country, we wouldn’t have,” he said.
“We took a photo of it because I couldn’t believe it was possible to live in a time and place where that was the situation,” he added.
The band say it doesn’t make sense that the airline claimed he “posed a threat”, but as soon as he turned it inside out he didn’t.
But Virgin Australia see things differently. They claim Tidswell was asked to “cover a clothing item” because it could have offended other passenger.
For what it’s worth, no other passengers had actually complained.