Two soccer jerseys that I saw last week impressed me enormously, and in a roundabout way they are connected. The first one was the away jersey of Dutch Eerste Divisie [First Division] side SC Telstar; the small black and white squares make it look like the logo from the old Two Tone Ska label that came to prominence in the late 1970’s thanks to in-house bands such as Madness, The Specials, The Beat, The Swinging Cats and The Selecter [I was and still am a massive fan].
Next up it was the turn of Bray Wanderers’ newly-unveiled yellow third strip. It really impressed me. Such a beautiful shade of yellow. When a particular shade of a colour impresses me I can almost taste it; this is a mixing of the senses called synaesthesiawhich is something I have always displayed symptoms of. A really nice green and I can taste lime-flavoured Starburst sweets; other times smells get processed as a sound, or tastes as an image; it’s a form of amusement rather than a hassle at this stage.
Given that we already have a green jersey and a black jersey, the yellow one – which made its debut on Friday night as Wanderers won away to Galway to maintain their 100% start to the campaign – completes the colours of the Jamaican flag. OK, technically the yellow in the Jamaican flag isn’t yellow at all, but gold [whenever people quibble over shades of colours I think of Cyndi Lauper who was interviewed on TV once after getting her hair dyed a distinctive shade of yellow; when the host said ‘I like your yellow hair, Cyndi’ the ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ singer took offence and replied ‘It’s not yellow, it’s canary!’].
Jamaica was, of course, the birthplace of Ska music, hence the connection with Telstar’s two-tone shirt. Original Ska music from the 1960’s was mostly released locally on the Trojan label, and was introduced to the UK thanks to immigrants. The core members of the Two Tone bands would have been influenced by this music making its way onto the UK airwaves in their formative years, hence them paying tribute later by infusing the original sound with a shot of Punk / New Wave.
In a further connection here, Jamaica adopted the current flag in 1962 which was the year the first Telstar communications satellite took flight. SC Telstar adopted this as the name for their club in 1963, in honour of the satellite, after they were formed from the merger of Stormvogels and VSV. Football would further honour the Telstar with the 1970 World Cup football, and the Telstar 18 at Russia 2018.
Football and music and space travel; the might seem like incongruous companions but aren’t they all just concerned with rhythm and motion?!