May 19 2011
I am beginning to think that I am the only person I know who does not have a tattoo. It’s not that I have a problem with them; I’ve been toying with the idea of getting inked for several years now. Two main things have put me off: that you have to live with it for the rest of your life, and judging by nearly everyone else who gets tattoos, it’s highly addictive.
So, I was intrigued when Palate Palette, probably the funkiest bar-cum-restaurant in KL, started putting on live tattoo shows every Wednesday night. Now here’s me, unable to commit to my first tattoo, while other people are prepared to have themselves marked with indelible ink as a crowd of bar-goers look on. And that’s just the pressure on the willing victim. What about the tattoo artist? One slip, and their reputation is mud.
The night I decide to attend, a massive storm starts just as the show is about to get underway, and the chances of a large crowd fade. But with commendable Blitz spirit, the show goes on against the background of torrential rain. Marcus, tonight’s artist, admits to being a bit nervous before his first inking at Palate, but says it’s not so different from doing exhibitions at tattoo conventions.
He confirms one of my major suspicions: that once people get one tattoo, they keep coming back for more: “The pain is really addictive … the moment … the whole process really. Before the first tattoo people ask about the pain, more than the design even. But after the first one, the pain’s forgotten.”
Ink and Drink kicks off every Wednesday at 20:00, with a new tattoo artist each month. Happy hour prices for anyone with a tattoo. If you want to get a live (free) tattoo, then follow this link for more information.
Of course, getting a tattoo at a bar is not for everyone, even if it is free. For those people who want a bit more privacy, several reputable parlours exist in KL.
Recommendations from friends who have taken the plunge include Dragonfly, where Marcus works, which has parlours in Mid Valley Megamall and One Utama shopping centre; Tribal Bodyworks in Sungei Wang Plaza, in Bukit Bintang; and US Skin Grafx, in Solaris Dutamas, which is hard to find, but worth the effort.
21 Jalan Mesui, off Jalan Nagsari, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2142 2148
Lot S226, 2nd Floor, One Utama, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
T: (03) 7710 1689
Lot T46, Third Floor, Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2284 0749
Tribal Bodyworks Tattoo Studio
Lot F28, 1st Floor, Sungei Wang Palza, Jalan Sultan ismail, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 2144 3308
US Skin Grafx
Solaris Dutamas, Jalan Dutamas, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
T: (03) 6209 9968 (call for directions)
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