Gig Scene: Mental as Anything, The Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick. 1st March 2015

There’s nothing like the comfort of a suburban RSL-come rock venue like the Flying Saucer Club, to see a band. When the band is Mental as Anything, veterans of the Aussie New-Wave, pop- rock scene, it brings the Gen X and Baby boomer fans out in full force. Many snapping up the “sensible seats” as Greedy Smith aptly stated. Three decades of playing together means a serious back catalogue of hits, and all prove popular with the crowd.

“Too Many Times” featuring a harmonica intro by Greedy Smith,  kicks off at a little after 4.30pm.  Founding members, Smith and Martin Plaza share vocal duties, inciting an upbeat sing a long in the audience.  Joined  by guitarist Martin Cilia, bassist Zoltan Budai and Jacob Cook on the drums, The Mentals put on an hour and a half long show packed with hits.  “Let’s Cook” follows shortly after, “Berserk Warriors”, “Spirit Got Lost”, “Date with Destiny” and “I Didn’t Mean to be Mean” follow in quick succession, but it’s “Come Around” that sees one brave lass, stand up and break out the 80’s dance moves, egging on many to follow, despite the lack of standing room.

It’s hard to pick a favourite song,  since many of the Mentals‘ songs are equally as good and catchy. “Live it Up”, “If you Leave me, Can I Come too?”, and “Mr Natural” are all crowd pleasers, whilst “Let’s go to Paradise” and “The Nips are Getting Bigger” featuring impressive guitar licks courtesy of Martin Cilia are standouts. Covers “Rock ‘n Roll Music” and “Concrete and Clay” and rarer known upbeat Elvis cover “(Marie’s the name) His Latest Flame” inspire further frenetic dancing and remind us that the band are so bloody good.

Mental as Anything put on an a thoroughly entertaining gig to wipe away the middle-aged blues with Greedy’s surreal and funny between song banter thrown in for good measure.

Photos by Mary Boukouvalas & Mandy Hall


About Anna-Maria Megalogenis 157 Articles
Anna-Maria has been writing for Street Press in Melbourne and Sydney for over 20 years. She is passionate about food, music and the arts, is an avid reader and used to hand write reviews for Beat Magazine at the Great Britain Hotel, where a patron once suggested she was ripping off articles in Rolling Stone magazine.