Heavy metal fans behave like 'tools' on flight

ASHLEIGH STEWART AND BECK ELEVEN
Last updated 05:00 11/05/2013
Nick Rado
STACY SQUIRES/Fairfax NZ

THIS IS YOUR COMEDIAN SPEAKING: Nick Rado entertains passengers on flight JQ250 from Christchurch to Auckland yesterday.

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Jetstar passengers are used to surprises - just not midair stand-up comedy gigs and heavy metal fans turning the cabin into a mosh pit.

Yesterday, the airline, so often the butt of jokes, provided some laughs by booking Kiwi comedian Nick Rado and Gordon Southern, of Britain, to do a stand-up gig on a flight from the Garden City to Auckland.

Good times.

Later in the day, two drunk heavy metal fans played their own music on a boom box and threatened other passengers on Jetstar flight JQ249 from Auckland to Christchurch.

Not so good.

But the duo got more than they bargained for when they were met by police at Christchurch Airport.

A passenger on the flight said the heavy metallers yelled at staff to change the music to American band Tool, and when staff declined, they proceeded to play their own music on the boom box.

The duo were fans of Tool, who played a show at Vector Arena in Auckland on Wednesday night.

The passenger said the men were drinking their own alcohol, and when warned by airline staff they would be fined for doing so, they became enraged and stood up to harass the couple that "dobbed them in for drinking".

When one of the offensive passengers realised police were waiting for him at the airport, he tried to change his clothes to hide from them, the passenger said.

The witness, who had also attended the Tool concert, said the pair were giving heavy metal fans a bad name.

"Half the plane including myself are also Tool fans and know how to behave," she said.

A Jetstar spokesman said "one of the two had definitely been drinking", they were "rowdy and their behaviour was unsociable".

A Christchurch police spokesman said airport police officers met the pair, one of whom was believed to be in his 40s and the other in his late teens or early 20s, when they left the plane.

"We spoke to the two people involved and gave them an informal warning," he said.

Earlier in the day, the airport's gate 22 was decked with a red carpet and an archway of balloons while passengers on the lunchtime flight to Auckland yesterday were treated to complimentary drinks, snacks and sniggers.

Kiwi comics Rado and Southern were briefed to keep the language clean and make no reference to the Titanic, the Christchurch earthquake or sleeping with stewardesses.

Since no-one could go anywhere, the comedians had a captive audience but they made the best of the limited "stage" by using the flight attendants' microphone and the toilet as a "green room".

"My dressing room is, frankly, a bloody joke," Southern said, faux-disgusted as he appeared.

Passenger Joe Taly popped to the bathroom just as Rado was wrapping up and turbulence jostled the aircraft.

As he walked back to his seat, Rado said: "I don't know what you did in there to cause turbulence like that but it must have been big."

After the flight, the comedians agreed the Jetstar-ha-ha was less turbulent than some of the pub gigs they'd done in the past.

"I've been dreading this gig since we were signed for it . . . but the key in life is to expect things to be the worst and it turned out to be great fun," Rado said.

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The New Zealand International Comedy Festival runs until May 19.

- The Press

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