Scottish Body Art Convention - Perth 2005

Published: 06 April, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 129, January, 2006

For some reason Scotland has been largely overlooked when it comes to Tattoo Conventions. Up until now that is. For the last few years we have had Piper Jim’s Aberdeen show but that catered for the whole of Scotland. So Bribs – Skin Deep’s long-standing contributor and all-round good bloke decided to put on the first Scottish body Art show. Bribs is no newcomer to tattoo conventions having played a big part in the running of several Halloween conventions in Northern Ireland with Snoopy and co.

So this year it was time to add another convention to the growing list in Great Britain. I sometimes feel we are getting to saturation point with the conventions but as I said, Scotland has been seriously lacking so this seemed like a good move.

Arriving in Perth, we found the hotel easily and gratefully poured out of the van to stretch our legs (it’s a long drive from Wales you know). Upon entering the hotel we walked into the awaiting crowd queuing at the entrance, most of the artists were already set-up and were waiting for the doors to open. We soon had the Skin Deep stand up as the crowds came through the doors and within minutes, the first tattoo machine sparked into life. Leaving my glamorous assistants with the stall, I hunted down my photo studio, which turned out to be the cellar (blimey, talk about temptation!) As soon as my backdrop was up, people were knocking on the door to be photographed.  From the outset, the quality of work coming into the studio was very impressive. If this was going to be the standard of the weekend, the judging on Sunday was going to be difficult to say the least.

Managing to escape, It was time for a ‘gander at who was working and what stalls were at the show. The show was divided into two large rooms with an interconnecting bar area. One side held the artists; the other had some trade stands and clothing and jewellery stalls. There was a good selection of artists from local boys and girls; Gary Weidenhof – Inkredible Kreations, Derrick Young – Yankee Tattoos, Stix – Draconian Tattoo, Morag Sangster – Tribe and Max Macandreis – 119 Tattoo. And others like; The two Emma’s – Aurora and Lady Luck, Simon – Manx tattoos and many others. Suffice to say if you were after some quality ink, you were guaranteed to get it here.

Pretty much from the doors opening, all the stalls were busy. Some of the artists had brought people with them to tattoo but many were just waiting to see who turned up. Gary Wiedenhof was doing a superb tattoo on the top of Ali’s head. I’m not sure if it is a Scottish thing but at one point there were three artists working on headpieces all at the same time.

Whilst the serious business of tattooing got under way, people not being worked on chilled out in the bar area, did some shopping or watched the hip-hop dancers strut their stuff on the dance floors of both rooms.

Later the live music kicked into gear – quite literally. I can’t remember the name of the bands, but bloody hell they were loud! So loud in fact that many of the tattooists downed machines until the music/grunting stopped. You just could not hear yourself think, many tattooists use the sound of their running machines to gauge how well they are working. Why do organisers insist on putting the live music in the same room as the tattooists? Beats me. Surely some piped music at an acceptable level would be more appropriate?

As the evening wore on the odd ghoul and ghost appeared along with some other strange mythical creatures as it was time for the fancy dress competition. I was really impressed by the amount of folk that actually made the effort to dress up. This coupled with the alcohol flowing freely made for a very interesting evening. By the middle of the Saturday night the bar ran out of beer. The best costume of the evening was the Oompa-Lumpa, who was one of Aurora tattoo’s crew. His outfit was perfect.

Sunday started the same way as Saturday with a queue forming early on in the foyer of the hotel. Luckily the hotel had driven all the way to Glasgow to stock up on beer for the Sunday, as it was the busier of the two days as is the norm. Tattooing got under way with a few artists finishing off pieces started the following day. I particularly liked the Piece Chris Jones from Abracadabra tattoo studio had done on his good lady’s shoulders. A lovely flaming heart with scrolls in the most vibrant colours. Some artists were working on tattoos to enter for the competition for best done at show. The competition took place in the late afternoon with three judges having the unenviable task of judging the twenty-two categories. Yep, you read it right Twenty-Two! I think Bribs’ surpassed himself with this. Saying that, the judging went smoothly and reasonably quickly.

The trophies were probably the best I’ve seen at a convention. They were hand made by a local artist/sculptor, Paul Ferguson ( out of beaten copper and steel, each one being unique.

The prize giving didn’t take quite as long as I thought it would and not long after this took place, folk started to pack up their equipment to get ready for an evening of erm, liquid refreshment. Many of the tattooists were staying in the hotel so Sunday evening was a good time for those who had been working over the past two days, time to chill and catch up with old friends at the bar. 

It must be very hard to come up with different ideas at these shows considering the amount of choice the tattoo fans have nowadays, but somehow Bribs and his gang managed to make things just that bit different and I’m sure all that attended had a great time and will be back next year – I will for definite.

I would like to say a big thanks to Bribs and his gang for making us extremely welcome and to Joe Myler, Michelle, J C, Brendon and the rest of the JMD’s gang who took us out on Sunday night for the most hysterical evening of curry and beer I’ve ever had. Oh, and I mustn’t forget Louise either and I hope you all had a good trip back to Ireland.

Good things at Perth

Location, people, cheap bar prices, fancy dress, great tattooists.

Bad things at Perth

Nothing really, apart from the volume of the music (I think I am still suffering from Tinitus - eh!?)


And The Winners Are...

Celtic Large: Bruce by Spacey

Celtic Small: Penfold by Spacey

Tribal Large: Stewart Martin by Judy Mitchell

Tribal Small: Paul by Trev

Portrait: Dave Murray by Joe Myler

Japanese: James by Stewart Cambell

Japanese B&G: Jim by Richard Pinch

Sleeve: David by Richard Pinch

Leg: David by Richard Pinch

Male Chest: Ian by Paul Slifer 

Female Chest: Olivia by Judy Mitchell

Female Back: Clare by ‘Low’ Lowther

Male Back: David by Richard Pinch

Most Unusual: Bill by Rob Ratcliffe

Dragon: Karan by Spacey

Bio Mechanical: Dave by Rob Ratcliffe

Wildlife: Kevin by Jonny Silver

Horror: Jamie by Derek Young

Funky: Pat by Joe Myler

Flash: Ian by Pail Slifer

Fantasy: Jim by Gary Wiedenhof

Best done at Show (start to finish): Tomark by Dario

B&G: Brendan by Joe Myler

Best artist award: Richard Pinch

Best of Show: David Young by Richard Pinch


Text & Photography: Neil Dalleywater


Skin Deep 129 1 January 2006 129