Whats the Story with the Ducks? Luan Parle and Clive Barnes play Hugh Lynch’s

In what must be the strangest question ever to be asked by an audience member, Clive Barnes explained the story behind the ducks at the Luan Parle gig in Hugh Lynches earlier tonight. But then again, the one asking was me, so strange questions are to be expected.

Needless to say, it was not the only contribution from our Carty to the night, where during a lull in the songs, a distinct – and familiar to those who know Carty – rustle of a crisp bag was overheard, which prompted Luan to reminisce about being the “local girl down the road who will sing” when she was younger, and being delighted to sing and be given Diet Coke and crisps!

The Ducks and Clive Barnes
The Ducks and Clive Barnes

So what was the story with the ducks? We will tell you that at the end of the article!

Lets start at the beginning of the show that was started by a young lady Olivia Burke, who sang a number of her own pieces, as well as covers, the highlight of which was the medley of covers held together by Tracy Chapmans “Fast Car” and the song that said “you think you have be opened / you only scratched the surface“…

Olivia Burke opened for Luan Parle and Clive Barnes
Olivia Burke opened for Luan Parle and Clive Barnes

The poise, professionalism and control for one her age showed when she had to stop mid song for water, and then took up without faltering where she left off showed the experience she has to spite her young years, and marks her out as one to watch for the future. She plays with Luan and Clive regular I am told, and it is showing.

Then Clive came up on stage, and with aplomb set about placing little plastic ducks, all over the place, four on a speaker, three on another and one on the mixing board.

I was brought to the gig by fellow Tullamore Rhymers club member and journalist behind the Midland Tribune / Tullamore Tribune music column “On the Right Trax”, Anthony Sullivan, who was raving about Clive Barnes.

But even he was perplexed by the placing of the ducks, cute and all as they were.

I immediately thought of the shipping container that was lost off China ten years ago, and how the million or so have been tracked on the global tides since, showing how what we waste moves around the globe. But that did not explain this!

Luan Parle and Clive Barnes playing at Hugh Lynch's Bar in Tullamore
Luan Parle and Clive Barnes playing at Hugh Lynch’s Bar in Tullamore

He and Luan then did a blistering set, of which Ghost in both Irish and English was one of the highlights, and her signature tune, the cover of the Diane Warren song “When I See You Smile”, and Clive played supporting guitar, bass and electric guitar, featuring a solo number where the fingerwork on the strings and frets was a sight both to see and hear.

It was in the lull between some of these songs our Carty made his contribution to the sonic experience for the audience. It is one of those stillnesses when the smallest noise echo’s, and I didnt think the crisps sounded so loud, but it carried to the stage, leaving Luan to ask to my mortification was I enjoying crisps or peanuts, before regaling the audience with a laugh about how she preformed as a child and enjoyed the Diet Cokes and crisps she was given.

Luan of course started off at the tender age of twelve, which goes some way to show the chance she has given to Olivia Burke – a chance well taken and developed by that young lady – playing music on the Late Late Toy Show, and being signed up having a recording career with many labels since.

She has an EP coming out soon, featuring her and Clive playing otgether, and two singles are to be released before the EP’s release itself.

Luan for me has a full voice that reminds me for some reason of Trisha Yearwood, it is the kind of voice when singing you could listen to for hours, that is as much a part of the music as the music itself. She has a very at ease presence on the stage, her guitar appearing to be an extension of herself.

When they finished, and finished the encore – without any further uninvited extra sound effects from yours truly, I went and got the CD’s, and asked the one question that was burning my mind all night. You know the sort of questions you want to ask when your a single fellow and there’s a hot lady singer selling a CD? You approach the lad who is playing with her, and ask him whats the story with the ducks! Well, you do if your Carty, which might explain why I’m single!

Line up ladies!

It seems Hugh Lynches bought ducks for one of his charity events. Lynches are famed for their Festival and pig and duck races, the former down the street, the latter down the canal. They ordered a few hundred ducks. Courier it seems duly came, with a box. Full of ducks. Not boxes, but one. Full of tiny tiny plastic ducks. For the race they needed big ducks. And they have been trying to get rid of them ever since, so for a good one, Clive thought about putting some out all over the speakers and mixing deck.

So Carty’s earth shattering journalistic question was answered, he paid for his CD’s and promptly left forgetting to approach Luan and get her to sign one! (We ask again, why is Carty single???!!!)

Before we sign off, the Guardaí and the Offaly Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Plastic Animals would like you to help with the appeal below:

Can you keep an eye out for this innocent duck that was Ducknapped by members of the outfit known as the TRC?
Can you keep an eye out for this innocent duck that was Ducknapped by members of the outfit known as the TRC?


Have your say...