Momus and Tricky

the hairstyle of the devil

Cover 1 The clock in the top right-hand corner shows that it's a little after six. A fluorescent strip light beneath it is reflected in the mirrors on the two walls of the interior of a barber's shop; the tone of the light in the room is rather more green than white. There are three people in the photograph. Two look to be of Greek origin, having sallow, darkish skin; the third, seated in the barber's swivel chair, is whiter, and in his late twenties. His look of superiority, his black suit, orange shirt and white socks, together with two words (`AUTOMATIC STERILIZER') on some casing positioned on the wall far left, fix the location as mainland Britain, more particularly and almost certainly London. He is having his hair cut by a woman of about the same age. She has black hair, strongly delineated facial features, and bare arms. The man in the blue barber's jacket who is looking on could easily be her father. Despite his thinning grey hair, he has an amazingly thick and black pair of eyebrows.

The Devil, for that's who the man in the orange shirt gives every intimation of being, is turned away from the mirror, so avoiding the possibility of facing his own image; as a result, the hairdresser is unnaturally cramped between the chair and a jutting-out sink. The Devil has one leg up on the knee of the other, and his face is set so that a scowl could spring from it with the minimum of muscular effort.

Cover 2 shows a black man posing as Christ. His head is tilted back, so obscuring the Crown of Thorns He is apparently wearing; actually, the image of the man has been superimposed over the thorns and there are no pin pricks of blood beading down his face. There are three portions of text, two of which throw light onto the image. To the left of Christ's neck, in black on a white background: `Easter special'; printed in white over the man's chest: `New messiahs', and beneath it in smaller lettering: `Tricky's second coming + why rock is stealing religion's role'.

The Christ figure's face is closed off, turned to the light above. There are tattoos on his arms; if anything He looks unforgiving, and it is easy to imagine His anger when he threw the money changers out of the Temple.

2: Render unto Caesar or to God, it makes no odds

3: In life remain considerate, in art the devil's advocate

4: I take a small step, now it's a giant stride

5: I'll master your language, and in the meantime, I create my own

Daniel Williams, April 1997