It’s time to get to know Funky Duck.
If your idea of a perfect afternoon involves listening to the sweet sound of a needle meeting the grooves on an LP with a boozy beverage in hand, Funky Duck has you sorted on every front.
Specialising in funk, soul, rock, blues, beer, wine, spirits and more, Funky Duck is here to provide you with your vinyl and booze fix all in the same place. The Funky Duck record collection dates back to the 1950s, including both new and used vinyl from around the world on top of rarities and first pressings.
Such is their singularity, the Funky Duck story needs to be told so we chatted to Mark Leece, the man behind it all, about the birth of his new innovation.
“It was a pandemic/lockdown idea and venture,” he says.
Funky Duck originally started with a suggestion from Leece’s dad about selling vinyl, but Leece knew he wanted to differentiate himself from the already-saturated market. So he set up a website to sell his vinyl and the idea just came to him.
“I should do all these pairings with different alcohols,” Leece continues. “Up until COVID hit, I was the assistant venue manager at The Gasometer Hotel, so I had all those contacts already.
“They all loved the idea.”
During Melbourne’s lockdown, Leece says liquor licenses became easy to obtain for online sales, “Because it’s purely online and it’s only delivery, it’s not too hard to get a liquor license.”
From there, the green lights kept rolling in.
When Uber Eats began doing alcohol deliveries, Leece jumped at the opportunity.
“If you’re [with]in five [kilometres] of Kensington, you can look me up on Uber Eats and get some vinyl and some beers and wine delivered.”
Funky Duck also delivers Australia-wide and offers next day delivery for select postcodes.
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Picking the perfect drink to match a new LP is no easy feat, which is why Funky Duck has monthly featured pairings to choose from.
“We have featured pairings which are set between ideas I have of certain LPs and different drinks,” says Leece. “Some of them are really easy – Jack Johnson [From Here to Now to You] and Byron Bay Lager kind of go hand in hand.
“Others are just how I feel and what I feel from the music and what I think will go well.”
And if you’ve got a particular pairing you can’t get out of your head, Leece says, “You can also buy LPs and six-packs [individually] and do it yourself.”
Funky Duck is an inventive way to encourage people to buy vinyl.
“It’s super important to support artists by buying their records, buying their merch, and seeing them live if you can,” Leece continues. “[Music streaming services] are a great tool to get to know new bands and for bands to be discovered … but you do need to support [musicians] in other ways.”
He’s also adamant that vinyl does, in fact, sound better than digital listening.
“When you go from that to listening to vinyl – the quality of the vinyl and all the intricacies and nuance in sound you can hear – it’s just night and day. A lot of people don’t realise that until they’re played back-to-back.”
With recently-released pairings, Funky Duck has you covered for a whole range of situations – something Leece has given a great deal of thought to.
If you’re hanging out for a memorable date night, Leece recommends wine and romantic music. Or maybe you need something to spice up your next COVID-safe gathering. Leece says a Funky Duck purchase will “take your party to the next level”.
Some of our favourite pairings include Rage Against the Machine’s Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium with BrewDog Punk IPA, Parliament’s Chocolate City with Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, and Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ Stay Good with Brooklyn Bel Air Sour.