Oasis go over the top down under

BY THE demanding standards of bad behaviour which the rock group Oasis have set for themselves, they were a model of restraint during a brief concert appearance in Hong Kong. The audience suffered no more than minimal abuse, Noel Gallagher only threatened to walk off the stage once, and they only kept the fans waiting for an hour or so.

But impeccable behaviour was clearly a strain. It therefore came as no surprise that they felt the need to let off steam and cause a degree of mayhem when jetting out of the former colony to continue their tour in Perth, Australia.

Occupying six business class seats on Cathay Pacific flight CX171 which arrived in Perth on Monday night, they alarmed fellow passengers, who complained of "noisy, disruptive and abusive behaviour."

Staff attempting to enforce the smoking ban on the flight were also subjected to abuse.

The band and their entourage were reported to have boarded the flight with the benefit of alcoholic fortification. They were rowdy more or less from the moment they got on the plane.

One report, which Cathay in Hong Kong says it is unable to confirm, states that the Captain considered diverting the flight before arriving in Perth so that the disruptive passengers could be unloaded.

A Cathay spokesman in Sydney said the airline was not prepared to carry members of Oasis again unless they furnished a promise of "adult behaviour". At Cathay headquarters a spokesman said: "We reserve the right to accept or not accept passengers."

It is not known whether the Gallagher brothers, Noel and Liam, were directly involved in the disruption. During the 90-minute Oasis concert, they gave indirect warning of what was to come on flight CX171 by offering a spirited rendition of "Cigarettes And Alcohol".

By the time the concert was over, Noel Gallagher was in sufficiently mellow mood to confound his bad boy image by actually thanking the audience.

At a pre-concert press conference he spoke about how the group were planning to "trash the hotel room and throw TVs through windows". This, apparently, was a joke. Mr Gallagher made this clear by saying: "Someone who looks a bit like us will knock over some plant pots in the hotel lobby and we'll probably get arrested."

Cathay Pacific is still ploughing its way through "several" passenger complaints.

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