December 2 [10:00 EDT] -- Chumbawamba saw their European tour hit a bit of a bump when Italian police apprehended vocalist Danbert Nobacon for wearing a skirt.
In a statement released by the band's record label, Universal Records, Nobacon says he was strolling along the streets of Florence on Friday before the group's scheduled show that evening when three officers apprehended him.
"They saw me in the street and didn't like the fact I was wearing a skirt," Nobacon said in the statement.
When Nobacon was unable to produce his passport, which was at the venue with the rest of the band, police placed him in a police van and took him to the station where he has held for several hours.
"When it got past nine we began to think that Danbert was lying in an alley somewhere," Chumbawamba's Dunstan Bruce said of the band's concern. The group had called hospitals and police stations, but could not find Nobacon and began to expect the worst. "There's a lot of bigots
out there who take exception to a man in a skirt. We felt like we should cancel the gig."
More than five hours after he was initially apprehended, after scrawling the word Chumbawamba on a piece of paper, the police released Nobacon without filing any charges and the show went on.
"If one of them hadn't heard of Chumbawamba I'd probably still be there now," Nobacon said of the incident. "As it is they've still got some of my possessions, they took my camera and that was the last I saw of it. It's a myth that the police abide by the law; people think you have rights but once you're in custody you don't have any rights."