On the 4th and 5th of June, 2016, the New Dock Hall in Leeds, Yorkshire will be awash with colourful, eye-catching body art as the International Leeds Tattoo Expo holds it’s third event. Run by Silvia Legara and the team at Ultimate Skin, the event will feature over 120 artists from across the globe as well as promoting local boutique businesses such as Naughty Little Cupcake, RSI Apparel, Harlow’s Den and Awesome Merchandise.

Over the course of two days, the Tattoo Expo will hold a programme of live music, sideshows and tattoo competitions, all battling to be heard over the sound of buzzing tattoo guns. Amongst the vast array of artists appearing at this year’s event will be:

Matt Adamson
Dale Sarok
Crazy Lessie
Bobby Loveridge
Piotr Gie Nosik
Jessie Singleton
Elmo Teale
and many, many more…

Rock music and tattoo have gone hand in hand over the years and, in recent months, PureGrainAudio has spoken to a number of bands about their ink in our “Tattoo Talk” series. Here’s a few of the things we learned:

01. Running a tattoo shop is quite a challenge (All Hail The Yeti)
Connor Garrity: “Dealing with tattoo artists is one of the toughest things. Artists are special people and they each have their own eccentricities. Sometimes those differences clash and decisions have to made. Drawing the line between friends and employees has always very difficult for me.”

02. Some tattoos are more painful than others (Atala)
Jeff Tedtaotao: “My ship on the back of my calf was probably the most brutal tattoo I’ve gotten. It was a tattoo session that started when the shop first opened and ended almost when the tattoo shop closed. Around 6 hours of work total. it was done by Kyle.”

03. Yes, people do get tattooed when they’re drunk (Abhorrent Deformity)
Jason Keating: “The one that sticks out the most is the one on my lower knuckles. I hate to say it, but I had it done at the house where my mom used to live. He did it with a needle, wrapped in thread, and dipped in this specific ink. I can’t remember the name of it. Sounds horrible, I know, but it was a stoned/drunk idea. It spells out CANNIBAL. Why? Cannibal Corpse. One day, I’ll be a corpse, so just ‘cannibal’ should be enough.”

04. Most rockstars get tattooed young (Atala)
Kyle Stratton: “My first tattoo was in 1992, I was 14 and it was illegal but I got it in a living room of a ‘Mongol’ (biker gang I did not belong to) club house. I just loved the tattoo culture back then it was an outlaw lifestyle that attracted me. It was a demon skull on a cross on the back of my calf. It was done with a homemade tattoo machine and guitar string, I still love it and the memory of that day too this day.”

05. Once you’ve got the tattoo bug… (All Hail The Yeti)
Connor Garrity: “Tattooing will always be part of my life and I hope that my children and their children and so on, carry the tradition on with them.”

For more information on the Leeds International Tattoo Expo, please visit: www.leedstattooexpo.com.


I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.