Gerry Cinnamon; What’s all the hype about?
By Bob Melling
I’ve heard a fair few rumblings recently surrounding this Scottish fella called Gerry Cinnamon, but up until a few weekends ago I’d never given the singer/musician the time of day. There’s no big marketing campaign with him so I foolishly presumed he was just another mundane indie artist fresh off the conveyor belt… Oh, how wrong I was.
The thing is with Gerry Cinnamon, he transcends the traditional dimensions for an artist. He doesn’t fall neatly into a category, hence why many regard him as a ‘DIY’ pioneer.
Last Saturday at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, I watched the proud Glaswegian support one of my favourite Manchester bands of all time; indie-rock sensation the Courteeners.
But entering the venue you genuinely wouldn’t have been able to tell who was supporting who! A fairly intoxicated woman stood behind me in the queue was pleading that Gerry would let her in so she didn’t miss his performance.
Again inside the venue, a group behind us freely proclaimed they were only here for Mr. Cinnamon. This was bizarre. The hype surrounding the man was overwhelming but I loved it.
Chants would erupt every millisecond from across the area, not in anticipation of the Courteeners, but for Gerry Cinnamon. This man was like some sort of quasi-religious cult hero and I’d never really heard of him. That was soon about to change.
He strolled onto the stage to a raucous crowd-led rendition of 80s disco hit ‘Give it Up’. Na na na na na na na na na na na, Gerry Cinnamon, Cinnamon, Gerry Cinnamon! The solo-Scotsman fervently embraced the atmosphere before jumping straight into the thumping but intricate acoustic anthem ‘Lullaby’… The title is a little misleading.
Gerry produces a big sound considering it’s just him and his Martin guitar (not sure my student loan would quite cover the cost of one of those…). I’m presuming he has a mic stuffed inside the guitar’s body to give those booming body slaps a bit more oomph. This is combined with his diligent use of a loop pedal which adds that much needed textural complexity to his twangy tracks.
Lullaby is a real crowd-rouser and he got that arena bouncing with just a couple of notes. Gerry then cranked out his album’s opening gambit ‘Sometimes’. It’s another anthem laced with social commentary that the crowd can really buy into. There’s no bullshit with this man, no hype machine and no record label. Just one man, his guitar and some belting tunes. It sells itself.
Cinnamon slowed the tempo a tad with the stunning, Dylan-esque, ‘What Have You Done’. Here he combines a more dulcet guitar part with a few telling blows of the harmonica. It’s a track ridden with emotion as Cinnamon’s sobriety shines through in the line; “Where will you run son when the joke gets old?”
Another dour narrative is told in ‘Fortune Favours the Bold’, as the wordsmith introspects the realities of society. It’s the sort of philosophical stuff we all ponder over after a few pints and there’s plenty of truth as he sings “Guess I’d rather have holes in my shoes than be drowning in gold.”
Lyrically, ‘Diamonds in the Mud’ was a personal favourite. But ‘Belter’ stole the show for me. It’s a raw, stripped back love song with all the fundamentals to cement itself as one of the great Scottish serenades.
‘Discoland’ closed the curtain on an impressive set at the Echo; another sing-along hit that had the crowd bouncing and wanting just a few more songs. ‘Discoland’ is a pretty cool amalgamation of three happy hardcore samples… It’s basically an absolute banging tune that he used to play for a laugh at gigs, but then realised he better keep playing it when his rendition nearly took the roof off at a few venues.
Gerry is starting to sell out gigs and he’s already attracted a fanatical fanbase swollen with passion. His charm, wit and brutal honesty are an alluring combination that give him individuality in an oversaturated market full of dirge. He’s already making plenty of headway and the Cinnamon steam train has only just got started. Expect even bigger things to come from Gerry Cinnamon next year… If he can top ‘Erratic Cinematic’ with his next album, he will undoubtedly continue to take the nation by storm.