Forming Mental As Anything
With their mix of surreal humour, eccentric personalities, wild live gigs and great songs, nothing like the Mentals had been seen before and Australia embraced the band.
Get Wet peaked at No. 19 on the Australian album chart, and the first single from the album, 'The Nips Are Getting Bigger', a cautionary tale about drinking, reached No. 16 on the singles chart. Guitarist with the band, Reg Mombassa, was 28 at the time and still fresh out of art school, where he had met his fellow band members.
In the first clip below from his NFSA oral history interview with Iain Shedden, Reg recalls the early years of the band: anarchic party gigs and benefits at Redfern’s Settlement; residencies at iconic Sydney venues like Oxford Street’s Unicorn Hotel (where they famously played on the pool table); and playing at the punky Civic Hotel and the suburban Chatswood Charles (see Gallery for poster). It was a vibrant period for music in Sydney.
Also below is a clip of the band performing two songs live at Hearts in 1979, 'Business and Pleasure' and 'The Nips Are Getting Bigger'.