- Dylan John Thomas
The streets of Liverpool ring with chants from shirtless fans to the tune of KC and the Sunshine Band’s Give it Up ahead of tonight’s main attraction, GERRY CINNAMON. With Saltires raised from a loyal contingent and, with spirits high, it is clear that tonight we are in for a rowdy one. Off the back of his album Erratic Cinematic, released in September last year, the Glaswegian-born artist has had a short but very direct route to becoming one of Britain’s most exciting prospects. Supporting the likes of John Power and Ocean Colour Scene, as well as booking a return to this year’s TRNSMT festival, Cinnamon has seen his efforts recognised by wider audiences and a huge growth in popularity.
Through the doors and into the blue-lit sanctum of the Academy, support act DYLAN JOHN THOMAS warms up the crowd with a confident rendition of The Stone Roses’ classic Waterfall and sets the scene for a nostalgic singalong accompanied by a luscious head of afro hair and a smart Fred Perry tracksuit. After thanking the crowd, Thomas moves off the stage and the wait begins. Not a single moment passes where the air is not filled with football ground chants for the fans’ main man as the anticipation builds to a point of near explosion. On walks Gerry Cinnamon with flat cap in hand, with every ounce of humble and appreciative feeling towards the support this assembly have given him.
Moving through the set, Belter receives the most raucous of responses as Cinnamon tells the Liverpool crowd that this one is about “ma wee missus”. With soul-bearing lyrics such as “She dances in my dreams, reminds me that the world is not as evil as it seems”, an insight into a bigger picture of the current state of things outside the venue shared by all involved. Halfway through this energetic and politically charged performance, Cinnamon stops to thank the fans for their continued support and dedicates all of his efforts to any young and aspiring musicians. In his broad Glaswegian accent he says; “Don’t let anyone get you down, if you can do it with a heartbeat and no band, you can do whatever the fuck you want!” With this powerful and inspiring message resonating around the room, everyone is fuelled and the mood turns electric. The walls cannot contain this one-man assault on modern times and its conventions as Cinnamon works through other huge favourites Sometimes and Diamonds In The Mud, which give us an intimate look into his modest roots and how he holds them accountable even as fame presents itself.
After closing on a stripped-down version of I Wanna Be Adored, the masses snap out of their trancelike state to roar their relentless support for their Scottish ringleader and the buzz that remains courses through each individual as they exit. There does not seem to be a limit to the potential here as Cinnamon seems genuinely grounded and thankful for the position he finds himself in. He provides an example of why financial backing isn’t always necessary for success in a commercialised music industry and that, even without a label, the very highest quality in delivery and songwriting still exists. With an instantly identifiable appearance and an honest perception on social commentary it is hard to resist the charm and, based on this admirable and unapologetic performance, I’m sure we will be hearing more from this potent lyricist.