PICAL Evening Market

PICAL is an acronym for the Phillip Island Community And Learning Centre.

During the summer season, PICAL facilitate in running an evening market on the foreshore at Cowes. The band, 'The Deep Blue', provide the music. We are a three piece group comprising Paul Smith on Bass, Martin Saunders on drums and me on guitar. I do most of the singing, Martin sings a few and Paul harmonises.

This our second year providing music for the market. Last year we were a four piece, but things change as we all know. After a lot of rehearsal we sound pretty good playing 60's - 70's music.

It's really a good gig to play at. Family friendly and everyone is friendly. Sort of feels like playing for family.

We set up in a tent provided by PICAL on the grassy knoll on the left just before the jetty. The food vendors also set up here, so we have the job of entertaining the food patrons as they sit on the grass consuming their food.

This year I've had a few issues at the market.

During a January market I ended up in Wonthaggi hospital as a precautionary move. I'd been feeling unwell all day and it was a very hot day. I ended up vomitting after we finished and were packing up. The market organisers thought it prudent to call an ambulance in case I had heart issues. I didn't argue. The ambulance people decided to take me to hospital. After a lot of questions, some testing and a bag of saline solution, they decided I was fit enough to go home as there was nothing else they could do. I was dehydrated and the staff had a very difficult time getting fluids into me and blood out of me.
Glad it wasn't heart related, although, I don't have a cause for the issue. Went to my doctor and he did a blood test and said the results were perfect and just gave up saying "Come back when you feel ill again". Great!

During the last two markets, my P.A. amplifier played up. I use half of the P.A. for the front of house vocals and use the other half to run a speaker behind me so I can hear the guitar better. For some unknown reason, the half P.A. I use for the guitar collapsed and ended up very distorted. I had to use the front of house speakers instead, which got me through, but it was rather uncomfortable.
It's being repaired at the moment by AmpWorks of Churchill. Peter Gray has the unenviable job of finding the intermittent fault. I had it fail while I was at home and Pete came around and had a look at it. The 'fix' was to give the amplifier a solid thump and all came good. Wish I'd known that while I was at the market.