The Yarra Sessions, Episode 3: Brent Parlane @ A Fan’s Notes

An Otherwise Quiet Room Presents:

Brent Parlane with Mandy Connell at “A Fan’s Notes”


  • His: “Strong” (Brent Parlane Band Abum)
  • Mine: “The Garden” (Unreleased)
  • Cover: Frank Jones: “My Brown Yarra” (1991 Whirling Furphies Self Titled Album)

Brent Parlane features in our third episode (Shot in Feb 2017). By this time, our team had expanded to include Clare Bligh and Ben Campbell, as well as Aaron and myself, and filming had to happen in between touring. With a busy schedule,  I was getting hard to reach (thanks to Gallie and Khristian Mizzi for your patience with me).

It took me two days to read an email from Brent, and this nearly meant that I missed our rehearsal. Flying by the seat of my pants I responded just in time. I arrived full of apology and grovel, to be met with the most humbling of good attitudes and professionalism. He walked in full of enthusiasm, gentle motivation, and attention to detail. We confirmed our choices, rehearsed and recorded our drafts in record time, and even had time to hang out and chat before our next engagements. That was a big lesson in zen and communication. Thanks Brent.

He is a bit of a legend in the folk/country scene, with a well-deserved reputation for songwriting and a swag of successes. A Tamworth Golden Guitar Winner, Brent was a must-see act in the 80’s, and had some big hits on international charts. He has opened for BB King, and The Eagles, and released a series of classic Australian country albums. He’s a bit of a legend, really.

The shoot with Brent took place in a bar / record shop / restaurant and longtime favourite of mine, “A Fan’s Notes”.

Run by Tamlyn Martinovich-Faulkner, the bar hosts musical trivia nights, vegan parmas, and hosts the odd vinyl launch.  They do, of all things, a very popular Vegan Degustation Menu. and Tamlyn’s social media game is goooood. Witty, slightly inappropriate and lots of fun. Lulu’s record shop is out back (nestled between the kitchen and the loo). A perfect venue and one I felt comfortable asking to open early for us to use the space.

The Cover: Brent’s stories are really fascinating to me. I really wanted to know more about his history with our chosen cover: Frank Jones’ song My Brown Yarra.  I wish I’d worked harder on interview skills beforehand- the discussion was broken up across the whole of the shoot, and lacks confidence and consistency, making it hard to edit.

His Song: I had first heard Brent’s original “I Guess That Makes Me Strong) at a club in the city, we played on the same bill, and he had only just written it. I asked him to record it and send me a copy and he did. These days a full band arrangement lifts it into a kind of anthemic dream.  Brent has a knack for writing songs with harmony opportunities, and they work well with a band or without.

Mine: Based on a pair of songs by Rob Moss and Kate Crowley, The Garden is written about a time when I’d been on tour and festivalling with those two. Their gorgeous voices were in my head, and Kate’s line “My shed in brunswick doesn’t have a great view- but I can still see the Marrar Moon, I’ll light a fire and I’ll think of you” set my scene, and I wrote her song into mine because of how much it shaped my summer. I keep playing it because it gives me a chance to tell people about her- but really she needs a credit for this song too. Playing an original with Brent was fantastic.