Timebomb – Croydon’s Hub For Tattoos, Piercings & Punk!
By Sumit Rehal
Croydon has long had a history of cultural and musical movements.
The old Black Sheep Bar was infamous for its freedom of spreading underground genres from the rock world to the drum and bass realm. On the other side of the town, dubstep was created in an attic in Thornton Heath by Benga and the likes of Amy Winehouse and Adele have graduated from the Brit School.
Lately there has been a wave of these cultural hubs closing down with countless local pubs giving way for chain restaurants and the revered hang out spots such as the Black Sheep Bar closing down. While Croydon adapts to the new changes, Timebomb stands strong in the centre of Croydon as the go to place for not only their expertise in tattoos and piercings but also a community hangout for the rock and punk scene.
I remember going to Timebomb as a teenager after it opened in 2003 for some customised shirts and saw that it instantly stood out with their rock themed merchandise, now 14 years later, or has stood the test of growth and continues to thrive. I recently revisited the shop after asking a guy that was on my bus where he got his camo jacket from, he replied that it was “only £12 from Timebomb”. So I went to bag one the very next day after weeks of previously trying to find the right one.
Before even entering the store, I was met with attentive customer service. I messaged the shop’s Facebook page on the way to check if the jacket was still in stock and they replied straight away with confirming that they had many styles to choose from. As I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the metal playlist blaring through the speakers, which resembled classic Metallica, the second thing I noticed was the smiles from the staff preparing for a tattoo job while another guided me to the jacket section.
I took my time to find the perfect fit but my choice was finally made with the help of one of the assistants who said that the medium size suits me best. (means I’m losing weight). Impressed with the level of service and the cultural feel of the place, I had a chat with owner, Richie Hudson to hear more about the place. I soon learnt that Timebomb is just one limb of the cultural body that Richie encompasses.
The entrepreneur has put on tattoo fairs per the years in South London, with a landmark exhibition in Fairfield Halls a few years ago. Along with the tattoo movements, Richie is also the guitarist and vocalist for punk group, The Fiascos! I have since seen some examples of the tattoos that the artists have penned and it is crazy to see the amount of detail that goes into each piece. There are different artists for different designs and you can really see the different styles shine through their work.
It was clear to me that Richie embodies his passion for tattoos, fashion, piercings and music into every venture he takes on, which definitely shows through Timebomb. He explained that he has customers from all demographics in Croydon visit his store, with female students taking up a bulk of the piercing orders but people from all walks of life choosing their store for their first tattoo.
Next time you’re walking down Croydon High Street, take a break away from the same old chains in H&M and Next and give Timebomb a trip, you will definitely find something there that you won’t see in any other store.
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