By Phil Kyle
So a few days later it's off to Milan tattoo convention... The 17th edition, already! This is another one of my favorite convention because you get to see everyone and yet again... another great time. This convention is always packed with kick-ass artists, the attendance is unreal and it's placed perfectly for folks from Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France to get there fairly easy...So it's Wednesday night... I am packed and ready to fly in the morning. Me, Adrian and Guen get the 4 a.m. bus to Gatwick. Ugh...
Then Wednesday evening I go to a meeting with a bunch of local tattooers in Brighton. Then when that was over I caught the tail end of a metal show going on upstairs in the pub. I go home, lay down for an hour and drag my shit to the bus stop. It's dark out still and there are people out partying... Girls in high heels and drunken cackles throughout the streets. I was thinking, "Damn we should be out right now."
Gotta catch a bus, ha-ha! So we are off... to meet Neil from Old Bones tattoo in Plymouth. We all go have a lil' stroll around after security check. Time to get on board... I luck out and have three seats to myself, time for a tw0-hour power nap. Some jerk sat next to Guen and hogged her zone!
We arrived to snow! The view from the plane of the Alps was amazing. We got picked up by the shuttle provided by the Milano Convention. (Thanks so much!) Miki does such a great job every year with this convention, as well as the London convention. It's a lot of work between these two major events, and running Tattoo Life/Energy Magazines. That man is on top of things!
So we get to the Quark Hotel where the convention is held. It's nice to stay in the same place you are working. Makes it easy to take a break and use your own toilet, ha-ha! We can't check in until 2:30. It's noon now... Pay no mind! The bar is open, ha-ha!
So a few drinks and finally a nap in the room after check out its time to get this funky party started. I celebrated 20 years of tattooing on this convention weekend. Fuck man, that went by quick... Longest job I have ever had, and the best! Thank you tattooing, for everything!
Anyway back to the jive...
So Friday morning set up the booth and make a run for supplies. Paper towels, salami, beer, bread... you know, essentials. Get back doors open at 2 p.m. and the crowd rolls in. The place filled up as quick as a general admissions Who concert.
The artist line-up was ridiculously amazing as always. Tattoo machines where rolling in no time. We tattooed our asses off and then went to dinner. Meat extravaganza. A steak you cook yourself on a heat rock plank with pizza and many other delights.
We walked back in the snow and hit the lobby. Everyone is hanging out having a good time and annoying the shit out of the hotel staff, ha-ha!
Saturday: Up... brush teeth, shower, deodorant, get dressed and time to boogie. Doors opened earlier on Saturday... Noon, I think. There were already loads of people walking around and the line to get in went all the way around the building. Folks drooling to come in and get tattooed. Everyone in the convention was making tattoos. I had some really fun appointments and walk-ups.
Saturday night was awesome. We ordered 14 pizzas to be delivered to the hotel and went up and put on our own iPod karaoke. The room was jamming. Yes we are hooked... Karaoke Kings and Queens prevail! We rocked out the jams like no bodies business.
Sunday last day of tattooing. Did my appointment and another tattoo then called it a day. Packed up talked to a bunch of folks and then exit stage left. Off to dinner with the crew, and back to the meat emporium... too damn good.
After dinner and a couple of espresso's we head back to the hotel... Lots of C-Lo activity in the lobby... I dont play, I always lose. So then we all decided to have another mental karaoke jam back in our room. Me, Neil and Adrian. Hexa came along with Guen and Crystal and some random visits. Then it was bedtime.
We had to get up early check out and get to Malpensa Airport. So I pull back my sheets and see that Adrian and Neil filled my bed with cereal and bread. Mmmmm comfy... Nothing like crumbs in a bed. Thanks bros!! Judas Priest karaoke was more fun, ha-ha!
So up in the morning, shower, pack the rest of stuff in the room and off to the airport. Woofed down a couple last slices of Italian pizza at the airport and we were off. Back to Brighton... All that in like two-and-a-half weeks. Mental yes, but the best times and greatest memories of these conventions and guests will always be had. Two great conventions once again. Always impressed. Keeping it real!
Hail The Dark Lord...
(Phil Kyle is a tattooer and contributing blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine. Phil can be found at Magnum Opus Tattoo in Brighton, England.)
Related TAM Blog Post:
Phil Kyle: From Brighton to Milan and Back… Part I (VIDEO)