Nestled into a leafy Albion Street corner is top Sydney salon Desmond & Molly Jones Hairdressing (DMJ). You might walk straight past if it weren’t for the 3.5 metre high mural that covers one side of the building, work of local legend Scott Marsh.
Salon owner and director Leonard Newton greets you as you walk across the threshold. He’s wearing a felt hat and trendy frames he snagged from a local pop up.
You take a seat on the couch and read the exotic tea menu while listening to the obscure yet catchy music playing over the speakers.
“This is Lescop, a French band, they’re really cool,” says Leonard. “We also love a bit of Churches when we want an energy hit. And a bit of home-grown stuff, a bit of Courtney Barnett.”
For Leonard, the best music to cut hair to is Interpol, Joy Division, Foals and dub reggae.
Leonard was taught in London by a now iconic hairdressing duo, back when the now global hairstyling brand was in its embryonic phase. He’s taught and travelled all over the world, worked with hair icon Guido Palau, and helped to launch EVO hair care brand.
“I’ve lived in Surry Hills now for eighteen years, and we’ve been open for fifteen. I’ve been through all the changes and transformations.”
Scott Marsh’s mural out the front is part of a campaign by Vodka brand Absolut, which has created artwork that celebrates the marriages of 218 same sex couples since the law was past last year.
“I’m a big fan of Scott’s work. These street art pieces are so significant because they evoke a shift in thought,” says Leonard.
“Love comes in all different boxes so it’s really nice to put that out there.”