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Rock concert stopped after guitarist arrested

POLICE arrested a guitarist at a rock concert yesterday, bringing it to an abrupt halt and angering scores of fans.

Organisers halted the 'Rage to the Extreme' show at the Palace hotel, Adliya, immediately after the arrest.

Sources said the Sri Lankan was apparently arrested because he was wearing a T-shirt bearing a caricature of a 'devilish' figure and the slogan "God's Busy...Can I Help?'

They said the performer with Bahrain-based band The Mushroom Massacre, was taken to a police station where he had his shirt and body piercings photographed.

Police confiscated the shirt and released him after taking his personal details, said the sources.

He left the police station, wearing a new T-shirt, bearing an image of pop star Craig David, but it was not clear who provided it.

Religious leaders, councillors and MPs have complained in the past about rock gatherings, accusing youngsters involved of Satanic activities.

Unsigned rock bands from across the Gulf arrived to perform.

It was billed as the first-of-its-kind event to combine a rock show and a battle of the bands, in which guests would vote for the winners.

It was organised by Bahrain-based Dallah Promotions and was scheduled to take place from 4pm until the earlier hours, with bands performing in half-hour slots.

Fans said there was no reason to halt it.

"Someone just came on stage and said the show was over, after that there were two breaks for prayer," said concert-goer Yasir Shehzad.

"Everyone's angry, but we don't know what to do. Someone, we don't know who he was, got on stage and told people to wear their T-shirts inside out."

He said the organisers should have warned people against inappropriate clothing.

"I blame them because the sound was terrible and they should have told children that they couldn't wear certain kinds of clothing."

Dubai-based Bahraini Ali Ahmed, who had travelled home especially for the event, was shocked and embarrassed.

"I don't know why they stopped it.

"There was no problem. Children were just relaxing and there were bands from the UAE and Saudi on the list to play.

"This is embarrassing for us because there wasn't any reason for them to do that, there wasn't a fight or anything like that." Dallah Promotions Culture and Information Ministry officials could not be reached last night. Hotel officials refused to comment.



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