The first show of the year on the South Coast got off to a fantastic start - you can’t beat a coastal event that’s held on a pier! There’s just something so brilliantly British about something like that, but honestly, how many more years will it take me to learn that you can’t win a fluffy meercat from one of those crane grab machines?
Reno and his crew went all out to ensure this was going to be a show that harked back to how conventions used to be - and by pulling in Lal Hardy, Hannah Aitchison and George Bone got that dream off to a flying start. As expected, Hannah and Lal drew a lot of attention from the punters who watched captivated for a good few hours without moving much at all. Also drawing some attention in the room was Sean Vasquez from XXX Tattoo and the crew at Sacred Art in Manchester. Conventions are a great place to get some cool stories, my favourite this year being from Kelly Wood who sat for a marathon session of 7+ hours with Sandy Green of Sacred Art who laid down an awesome psychedelic mendhi peacock. I heard later that Kelly had to get a cab back home from missing the last train home as she was due to fly out to Vegas the next morning. You can’t rush awesomeness.
Not to be outdone, over on the other side of the venue, Dan Gold was laying some serious ink whilst next-door to him, the CupCake Club sandwiched between the ABH/K2 booth continued to kick out the jams in aid of a good cause as they have done for the best part of a year now. Poison Ink from Basingstoke were also pumping iron - culminating in a nice award for best female large at the end of the day. Given the judging panels experience, there was no arguing over their choices at the end of the show.
After a cracking long and hot weekend, the Portsmouth Extravanza proved that there’s an awful lot of talent kicking about along the south coast. Same again next year? I hope so. There’s a meercat with my name on it down there.
And the Winners are...Male small
Ink To Envy/Portsmouth
Lucky Lee Nicholls
Best of show
Best overseas artist
Best dressed booth
Tony B & Lady Trish
Dave Ayres memorial award (sponsored by the legendary Micky B), was presented to who we thought had promoted and contributed the most towards the tattoo industry throughout
New Wave Tattoo/London