The venue for Celtic’s 2018/19 kit launch was St Luke’s in Calton, an appropriate location as the club celebrates 130 years since it was formed not far from here in Glasgow’s East End. St Luke’s is a spectacular venue: A beautiful renovated church, with a 400-strong capacity and a fantastic food menu in its adjoined bar/restaurant. Top place.
The event today was not, however, an indie music gig or a lunchtime trip. Rather, it was an event that perfectly embodied Celtic’s current desire to move into 21st century event-hosting, with social media a massive focus of these things nowadays.
There is a degree of futility to the idea of having an exclusive, embargoed kit launch in the Twitter era. We’ve all seen the kit doing the rounds on Twitter; we’ve all grumbled about the white gap. But, as a symbol of Celtic’s recent success as a club, these things are required to become an event. With a venue, and… Jackmaster? Okay then…
The venue was bizarrely adorned with odd quasi-religious slogans: a strange attempt from New Balance and Celtic to equate the church setting with supporting Celtic. This is the endpoint for inspirational ‘Just Do It’-esque sportswear campaigns.
Before the arrival of the punters, the press had a word with Scott Brown – fresh from his triple-header of accolades at last night’s Player of the Year Awards. I tried to muscle in between the BBC and Radio Clyde to ask him what his favourite biscuit was, but I fear that may have been both social and career suicide – I relented and listened closely.
The captain expressed his surprise at winning the awards, and his excitement about Sunday’s potential title-clincher against Rangers at Celtic Park. It occurred to me just how dull standing still and talking must be to a man who spends most days running around and shouting and allegedly listening to Scooter’s Jumpin’ All Over the World.
A 400-strong crowd of wristband-touting, New Balance-sporting fans entered the building. Jokes referring to a largely Catholic fanbase on a postcard, please.
A lineup of Moussa Dembele, Kelly Clark, Leigh Griffiths, Scott Brown, and Kieran Tierney adorned the new kit. Celtic Ladies’ captain Clark was beautifully frank about the new kit – “I didn’t like it at first, but aye now it seems nice.” Leigh Griffiths was similarly enthusiastic, laughing when asked what he thought of the kit. He didn’t know what to say and, to be fair, I don’t think I would either.
The whole event ended with a set from Glasgow electronic producer Jackmaster – a man unknown by almost everyone in the room, it seemed. In fact, most of my afternoon was spent describing who he is and why people should care. I tried in vain to battle – armed with my praise for him as an artist – against the horrible version of Just Can’t Get Enough with which he started his set. I failed.
After a few Jackmaster-spun tracks I departed, largely thankful that the socks are not black, and that St Luke’s does a cracking Mac N Cheese.