Saturday, 23 December 2017

Gerry Cinnamon at the Barrowland Ballroom

Where to start! What a night!

Well my night started and ended in one of my favourite pubs - McChuills, just round from the hallowed ballroom. Pre and post show Gerry Cinnamon was the man on everyone's lips; people talked of how happy they were for him, how they couldn't believe he was playing two sold out night (someone with good info told me it could have been 5) and talked of how welcome Gerry and his songs were being received; like they were needed.

And that kind of hits the nail on the head. There is an honest rawness, an honest soul at the heart of everything Gerry Cinnamon writes and sings about. The fact that he has the talent to tell his stories in such a way and the charm that wins him friends anywhere he goes is an added bonus. In short, his songs have touched people. Gerry and his songs connect.

The queue round the block at the Barrowland was crazy. There were young kids, old gig veterans and pretty much everyone in between.

Inside the atmosphere was one of pure celebration. The upstairs bar was the busiest I had ever seen it and the DJ or playlist built on the mood with Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline being absolute genius. Top marks to whoever played it, people danced, sung, hugged and at one point there was someone up on a friends shoulders in the queue for the bar. Someone passed him a pint. It was that kind of atmosphere.

On to the main event. I've been attending gigs at the Barras since 1993. I've been fortunate to witness some incredible shows and audience reactions, this was up there.

Walking on stage to KC and the Sunshine Band's Give It Up, with the crowd chanting Gerry Cinnamon, Cinnamon, Gerry Cinnamon na na na na na...... this was going to be some party.

Gerry could do no wrong. Looking cool in a new Adidas trackie top and his trademark cap, he was lifted along on a wave of emotion. Even when his loop pedal cut out, the crowd just kept going and Gerry came back to join them. It was a lovely moment that highlighted that Gerry and his crowd are a team. In fact this blog could easily be titled Gerry Cinnamon and his fans at the Barrowland!

Sometimes is a real favourite of mine, it just flows superbly. There were many brilliant moments where Gerry gave a gorgeous cackle between songs, his happiness was clear for all to see and that was transported to the audience.

A back drop of video footage from across Glasgow was perfect for Gerry's tales of love and adventure from the hills of the 'Milk to the Parade in the East End. Here was a young guy armed only with an acoustic guitar, microphone and a loop pedal taking on the world - or at least his home town!

Keysies is real raw beauty. My favourite song on the Eratic Cinematic album. Cinnamon's voice is rich and soulful and it cracked with emotion before he turned the 90-second song into a 3-minute song by adding a beat and repeating the story of of being late home from school and playing soldies in the park.... it's a gem.

In the field I'm away and running with the wind
The sky cracks open and it rains
On my skin
My t-shirts too thin
To keep out the cold

Pic from Gerry's social media

I wouldn't be surprised if their were major labels in the crowd last night or tonight. After all, they can usually smell money. But does Gerry need a label? His introduction to Kampfire Vampire was defiant - you don't need anyone, go on your own, do it. The lyrics were bellowed back to him by a crowd hanging on his every word.

Don't, don't be scared
To leave yourself open
Dreams, bullshit scenes
Rules were made to be broken

Schools, run by fools
Leave to get education

New song Canter was brilliant, building as it went on and it is set to be another firm fan favourite. And then there was room for cover versions including an inspired Discoland and a stunning Redemption Song that had every single person in the room singing with their hands in the air.....although that was the case for most songs last night!

It's kind of hard to put into words how celebratory last night was, artist and audience were one, there was and there is, a clear connection. And these songs are connecting with more people on a daily basis.

Fortune Favours The Brave .... it does indeed and this was my highlight of the set as the crowd sang heartily on the shoo la la la, shoo la la la la section.

Last night was special. Everyone witnessed someone coming from parties and open mic nights to the Barrowland Ballroom within a few years with his songs, stories and charm.

Gerry will be announcing a tour in the near future, I look forward to hearing where he will be playing and if there is another Glasgow date among them..... it might have to be the Hydro.

Maybe Gerry can explain things better than me, this is what he tweeted ......

Enjoy tonight if you are going.

Never seen, heard or felt anything like it. Body's ringing like a bell.
Loop pedal melted. Broke my guitar. Burst my eardrum. All worth it.
Best venue in the world.
Best crowd in the world.
Take a bow Barrowland Ballroom

Pic from Gerry's social media

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