With the Mission Concert coming up, a ban on BYO alcohol for the event, and the recent liquor debacle at the Church Road Joe Cocker concert, ‘music aficionados’ can already be spotted in area pubs, pre-loading so that they can fully appreciate Sting’s artistry.

BayBuzz came across some ardent Sting fans last night at a local bar, preparing for their worst nightmare … being trapped inside the venue, having paid for expensive tickets, and slammed with an early shutdown of alcohol sales.

We approached the only one still coherent. He was wearing a tee-shirt warning: Don’t Get Stung at Sting!

We learnt that Hamish (an alias for obvious reasons) has actually been training almost since the Sting concert was announced a year ago.

“I could see the handwriting on the wall,” he said. “Hey, I’m not your average town drunk, with a Land Rover and designer jeans. I was paying careful attention all the way back in August when the special BYO licenses were declared illegal. Ever since then, to fight this repression, I’ve been building up my alcohol tolerance level. The trick is to be flying high on the inside, but look sober as a monk when you’re checked at the gate.”

“By Saturday at 3pm when the gates open, I will have pre-loaded over the next two days with 8 six-packs of Tui, 6 litres of tequila, 4 bottles of Jack Daniels and a case of chardonnay. Actually, I’m not much of a wine drinker, but in case the Mission people only sell their own stuff inside, I think I should prepare my palate.”

He continued, “I was really ticked off when they stopped selling booze at the Cocker gig. It threw off my entire training regime. I was planning to use that concert as a dry run for Sting.”

“You seem like a serious music fan,” BayBuzz observed, gesturing to the vuvuzela Hamish occasionally honked on. “Why do you need to get totally pissed to enjoy a Sting performance?”

“You need to be prepared for any possibility,” Hamish replied. “First of all, you might get there and the p***k doesn’t even show up. Or it might rain, and he refuses to get his guitar wet. Or he might play a heap of B-sides you never heard of. How are you supposed to entertain yourself then?”

Good points, BayBuzz thought. “Spoken like a true music connoisseur. What are your favourite Sting tunes?”

Without hesitation, Hamish replied: “Bennie and the Jets, Satisfaction and my all-time favourite, Loyal. If he doesn’t sing those, I’ll be really pissed. By the way, what’s all of this symphony crap I’m hearing about?”

God help the Mission Concert, thought BayBuzz.

“What’s next on your calendar after Sting,” we asked.

“Actually, these concerts are just child’s play … we serious drinkers are training for the BIG event,” Hamish replied. “The Rugby World Cup. That’s where you’ll see some real records set.”

He continued: “At least this John Key bloke has got it right. Hey man, he appreciates that drinking and sport go together like fish and chips. He’s not going to spring any mommy-state alcohol rules on us until after the World Cup is over. Too bad he wasn’t calling the shots at Church Road and The Mission.”

“What are your plans for World Cup Rugby?” BayBuzz asked.

“In honor of the occasion, I’m aiming for a personal best … a five day coma.”

BayBuzz: “We meant, are you attending any matches?”

“I expect to be hospitalized. Maybe Key will visit me. We can knock a few back.”

Tom Belford

P.S. If you’re going to the Sting concert, try drinking the music!

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  1. Just great Tom – I'm still laughing. However, you missed the key factor that a mix of sunshine, preloading & the dullest artist to ever go solo could make for NZ's largest ever communal sleep.

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