Mansfield four-piece Violent Soho walked away with two shiny new trophies at last night’s Carlton Dry AIR Independent Music Awards but thanks to a “threatening” band T-shirt, one member of the band almost didn’t make the ceremony.
Upon accepting their well-deserved award for Best Independent Album, Violent Soho guitarist James Tidswell revealed that the t-shirt he was wearing – a tribute to the Painters and Dockers, printed with the name of their 1990 single Eat, Shit, Die – nearly got him kicked off the flight to the ceremony, as it was deemed “a threat”.
“She [the Virgin Australia employee] 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,” Tidswell told Fairfax.
“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.”
The band also posted a photo to their Instagram account of Tidswell wearing his “threatening” shirt. The guitarist said he managed to negotiate a compromise and after quickly turning the shirt inside out, he was able to board the flight.
“We almost didn’t make it to the awards and I guess had I [not] put my foot down as a human being living in a free country, we wouldn’t have,” he added. The band later shared another photo of a shirtless Tidswell enjoying a beer in the airport lounge.
According to a Virgin Australia spokesman Tidswell was asked to “cover a clothing item” because it could have offended other passengers, not because of new terrorism legislation. “Under our terms of carriage, and consistent with many other airlines, passengers may not behave in a manner which would be considered to be offensive, or in a manner which might cause discomfort, distress, or offence to another person,” said the spokesman.
“After complying with the request the passenger boarded and the flight left on time,” he said. Once he and his bandmates made it to the ceremony, Tidswell swiftly turned his shirt back around just in time to sweep up Best Independent Album and Best Independent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Album. Other big winners of the night include Courtney Barnett, Dan Sultan and Remi.
Photos: AIR Awards 2014
@j_tidswell wasn't allowed on the plain wearing his Painters and Dockers shirt – they claim he posed a threat.
@j_tidswell poses no threat. He just wants to have fun!
So last night we won 2 awards at the Australian Independent Music Awards. Best Album and best Hard Rock Album. So stoked for @iohyouforever for taking out best label as well. We are so proud to work with you guys! Total legends!