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Muso turfed off train for 'suspicious' set list

South West Trains objects to The Killers

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A 25-year-old musician was turfed off a South West Trains service after security operatives objected to his "suspicious" set list, The Portsmouth News reports.

Bassist Tom Shaw was putting together the list for his band The Magic Mushrooms, and ill-advisedly included the word "killers" as shorthand for These Things That I've Done by The Killers.

He explained: "I got on at Fratton and there were two people who looked like they were in luminous Transport Police jackets. I sat down and they were looking over my shoulder.

"After a couple of minutes they told me I'd have to get off the train. When I asked why, they said they'd speak to me more on the platform."

He continued: "They made me get out at Fareham and when I asked what was wrong they told me to show them the piece of paper I'd been writing on. They said I'd been behaving suspiciously. I couldn't understand it. It seemed very strange, as it was just a list of songs.

"We had a gig coming up, so I was writing out what we could play. They made me explain song by song."

The other offending items included Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out and Cigarettes and Alcohol by Oasis, but the single word "killers" evidently set alarm bells ringing, since security staff told Shaw he'd been targeted "because there had been a 'number of arrests' nearby including one man who had killed his wife".

A South West Trains spokeswoman offered: "We employ highly-professional rail community officers who work closely with the British Transport Police in protecting the security of passengers on the rail network.

"During a routine high-visibility patrol, they spoke with a passenger on the platform at Fareham station. The team clarified the nature of the individual's business, were satisfied with his explanation and the man went on his way."

She concluded: "We would like to thank him for his co-operation and understanding of the need to be vigilant in the current environment."

The The Portsmouth News has snaps of Shaw and his sinister set list right here. ®

Bootnote

Steven Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications of the Stagecoach Group, got in touch this afternoon following publication of this article. He wrote:

I am writing in connection with the above story, which makes an inaccurate reference to an individual being "turfed off" a train. Please note that his is completely untrue. He was politely asked to step off the train by our rail community officers, which he was happy to do. The train was extremely busy and this was intended to protect Mr Shaw's privacy whilst we asked him a few questions.

I would appreciate if your story was amended to reflect the true position.

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