Huge mural of Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman unveiled, gets mistaken for Harry Potter's Professor Snape

Jaz Coleman mural in Cheltenham
(Image credit: Andy Dice Davies)

A mural of Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman has appeared on a wall in Cheltenham. Coleman was born in the town in 1960. 

The mural, which was painted by local artist Andy Dice Davies, shows Coleman brandishing a conductor's baton, while one corner of the artwork is given over to the cover of Killing Joke's debut album, an image based on a photograph shot in Belfast during the Troubles by renowned war photographer Don McCullin.   

“It’s been such an honour to have painted Jaz," said Davies. "Seeing Killing Joke on The Tube in 1985 changed my musical taste and I’ve been a fan ever since. I first saw them later that year at The Elephant Fayre in Cornwall and his performance blew me away!”  

Davies also tells Gloucestershire Live that passers-by have mistaken the portrait of Coleman for Professor Severus Snape, a wizard/educator from the Harry Potter movie franchise.  

The mural was commissioned to celebrate Coleman being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Gloucestershire. 

Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said, “As a university, we were proud to honour Jaz’s achievements by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate of Music at our recent Graduation Ceremonies in recognition of his significant contribution to the arts and, in particular, his contributions to both contemporary and classical music. 

"His career and achievements resonate with many of our students, particularly those aiming for careers in, music, creative arts, and performance."

"Cheltenham gave me everything," says the newly-anointed Dr Coleman. "I learned all my music at St Mary’s Church Charlton Kings, The North Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra and Cheltenham Young Peoples Orchestra. It has been a long journey, and I am deeply touched by the recognition by my home town. And as for the mural, I’m blown away. I’m absolutely blown the fuck away.”

The 20-foot-high portrait can be found at the Swindon Road entrance of Cheltenham's High Street Car park, just round the corner from Lidl. Location shown below. 

Killing Joke's Honour The Fire UK tour kick off in March. Full dates follow.

Killing Joke Honour The Fire UK tour

Mar 28: Cardiff Tramshed
Mar 29: Nottingham Rock City
Mar 31: Bristol O2 Academy
Apr 01: Liverpool O2 Academy
Apr 02: Birmingham O2 Institute
Apr 04: Manchester Albert Hall
Apr 05: Newcastle Boiler Shop
Apr 06: Glasgow Barrowland
Apr 08: Leeds O2 Academy
Apr 09: Lodon Eventim Apollo Hammersmith 

Support on all dates from The Imbeciles. Brix Smith is the special guest in London. Tickets are on sale now

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.