By Luke Voogt
Torquay musician Rach Brennan is back in central Geelong serenading CBD-goers after a COVID-19 hiatus.
The 27-year-old made her return to council’s Music and Street Serenades in the City in March and has another two shows coming up this month.
“I’ve been playing these gigs for eight years now,” the indie-folk pop-rocker said, while on holiday in the Daintree Rainforest this week.
“It’s a great place to set up and it creates a cool vibe in the city.
“Music adds a lot to our town – having it dotted throughout the city is really exciting for everyone.”
Brennan entered the musical world as a child following the footsteps of her grandfather Russell Sheridan, a veteran jazz musician.
“He was a big influence,” she said.
As early as age 10 she would get up on stage and play songs on the piano – the first instrument she learned – during breaks in her granddad’s sets.
“When we were a bit older my brother and I got on stage and jammed with him,” she said.
“He’d always call us up to play with him.
“Watching him play live, we saw that being a musician was a legitimate career.”
The singer-songwriter has performed at Port Fairy Folk Festival and Queenscliff Music Festival, and is perhaps best known for her band Rach Brennan and The Pines.
“My brother, who plays in my band, and I have always played together,” she said.
But now she is branching out, with the band playing its last gig together at Barwon Club on June 5.
“It felt like the end of an era when COVID put a halt to things,” she said.
“I just wanted a change – I wanted to change the direction of the sound. It will still sound like me but a different me – a newer me.”
Brennan has been busy writing new tracks while teaching year 12 music part-time, and working side-gigs as a PR and booking agent, and teaching song-writing to kids.
Last December she released a Christmas song with fellow Geelong muso Tom Stevenson titled All Your Favourite Colours.
Initially she scored a gig covering a Christmas classic for Barwon Health Foundation’s 2020 Gala Christmas Album with Stevenson, but they decided to write their own song for the album instead.
Locals might have also heard Brennan at one of her regular cover gigs at Geelong wineries, pubs and bars, or even playing at Moomba Festival when it returned to Melbourne in March.
This month she will play a mix of original tracks, with some covers thrown in, when she hits the central Geelong stage at Little Malop Street mall on May 11 and 27.
“I spent time growing up in Ireland and my family’s Irish, so I quite like The Cranberries,” she said.
Continuing this month, council’s Music and Street Serenades feature a range of bands and artists including Spider Jazz, Levi Anderson, Juliarna and The Heart, Plan B Band, Steve Thew and Marcus Hayden.