Portsmouth Tattoo Convention '07

Published: 25 September, 2009 - Featured in Skin Deep 150, September, 2007

With there being as many conventions in the country as there are every year what actually makes for a good show?


At one end of the scale you have the London show, which has well over 100 of the worlds most talented, and influential artists covering the whole spectrum of tattoo art. With a show of this size you can’t help but get the feeling that you’ve just moved to a big city where you know very few people.  At the other you have a show like Portsmouth, which is a much smaller and local show but has much more of a cosy and familiar feel to it, a bit like living in a small village where you know nearly everyone. It doesn’t have the range of artists that some of the bigger shows have but there is always a waiting list of artists wanting to work it. Portsmouth is a showground for some of the more local artists to work who don’t really work any other shows during the year but are doing really good work, although not all of the working artists are local by any means.   

From the off Portsmouth has always been held in the middle of July in the Pyramid centre right on the seafront in Southsea Portsmouth but as I write this there is doubt as to whether the venue will be open by the time next years show comes round. It would be a real shame if the venue were lost as it works really well for the show. The organiser Pete Lake and his crew always have a warm welcome and are happy to help if people need anything.   

This years line up of working artists included Phil Kyle, Neusky, Barry Johnson, Doctor Feelgoods, Tony B, Mike Hicks, Michael Rose, Paul O’Connor, Darren @ Body Images, Brendon Mudd, and Mr. Nu plus countless others, too many to list individually. Some of the artists had brought customers with them and there was the steady sound of machines in action even before the doors opened. By the time the doors opened to the public there was quite a queue waiting outside and within half an hour the hall was full of people watching, booking to have work done and generally chatting and catching up with old friends.   

On the entertainment front there was something for everyone, from face painting for the kids through to a theatrical suspension performance for the bigger kids by Kamalyn. There was also a really good acoustic set from Hayley who is a really talented singer. There were other entertainers on but as I was very busy I apologize but I didn’t get all the details. It was a bit difficult to judge if the show was busier than last year because with the smoking ban it meant that there were always a percentage of people outside having a smoke (me included) but it did cut down on the amount I smoked.    

There was plenty of good work on display and being done at the show and from what I saw everybody seemed to be busy working, I don’t know what time Phil Kyle finished but he had a queue of people wanting work all day. The thing with Portsmouth is the day goes by very quickly and before you knew it the awards were being presented and another great show was coming to an end.   

Pete asked me to relay his thanks to everybody who has supported the show both this year and previous years either by working at it or by coming as a visitor and hopefully see everyone the same time, same place next year.

Next year’s date is Sunday 13th July, venue to be confirmed.


Text and Photgraphy: Paul Callaby


Skin Deep 150 1 September 2007 150