Mighty Mighty's last kiss goodbye

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 13:15 23/05/2014
Mighty Mighty
TALIA CARLISLE/Fairfax NZ
KISS GOODBYE: Rose Young, Mighty Mighty bar manager Chelsea Godinet and former staff member Gemma Syme get ready for the closure of the Cuba St bar.

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The Wellingtonian

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Former Mighty Mighty staff members have reunited to prepare for the bar's farewell party on Saturday.

Former artistic director Gemma Syme visited from Christchurch this week to help install glittering lips and decorations for this week's events.

Last week four celebrations were held - a cat-concentrated "Pussy Party", "Medieval Knight", "Mexican Wrestling" and "Sexy Lounge night". Two more parties were scheduled for this week before the big wrap-up.

The final party - "Party Till You Die" - on Saturday features bands The Users, Lightning Tape Wolf and The Raskolnikovs.

While creating decorations for the upcoming events, Syme and staff members reminisced about previous parties.

Syme, 29, worked at the bar during 2011 and 2012. She said her best memories of the bar were "an amalgamation of insane good times that turned into one great party".

One of the memorable nights included a "confetti blizzard" inspired by staff member Anna Dean, who had experienced them in Berlin.

"There was a huge fan in the middle of the room and Anna climbed a ladder and dumped a whole pile of confetti," she said. "It was glorious."

Another night an industrial- strength smoke machine was used.

"You couldn't see a metre in front of your face, but it was great."

Favourite gigs included bands Yacht and Evil Ocean performing at a Christmas party, and a ghostly performance by The Cosbys.

"Me and my friend Emily were dressed up as babushka ladies," she said.

"We came out on stage and cried because The Cosbys had died and were dressed as ghosts. They carried a coffin and in the coffin was candy, so they started biffing candy everywhere.

"Then they changed and were wearing YMCA gear. Everyone was standing on tables [watching]."

Working at Mighty Mighty changed bar manager Chelsea Godinet's life.

Three years ago she moved to Wellington after losing her job because of the Christchurch earthquakes.

"I ran into [Mighty Mighty co- owner] Sally Thomson at The Matterhorn and she invited me to have a look at [Mighty Mighty]," the 26-year-old said.

"It was lucky someone was leaving and I just slotted in."

During her three years at the bar she has worn endless outrageous outfits, including what was "essentially a fur bathing suit" for the Pussy Party last week.

One time someone stepped on her makeshift Arabian Nights- themed attire and was left standing in her underwear. But she wouldn't have been the only one, she said.

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"We've all been quite skimpy. Nothing too crazy, just a bit wacky. I'm going to miss the excuse to just get crazy."

Mighty Mighty's closure would leave a hole in the community, she said.

"It's a place where you can go a little crazy and feel free to do that. It has a great vibe and a community feel," she said.

Co-owner and manager Sally Thomson has pulled out all the stops to ensure the final party is the mightiest of all.

Thomson announced in January the bar would be closing this month, after what was planned in 2006 as a two-to-three year experiment.

Three of her fellow owners - Christian McCabe, Sam Chapman and Leon Surynt - were living out of Wellington and busy with other projects. It was time to move on, she said.

"It's been really hard work. Hospitality can be quite physically taxing. We've worked some really long, hard shifts.

"But being involved here has changed my life and I've learnt so many new skills. I've worked with so many incredible people."

She had heard stories of couples meeting at Mighty Mighty who were now expecting their first child, and encouraged customers to share their memories on the Facebook page.

- The Wellingtonian

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