Gerry Cinnamon – 'You could feel the energy in the tent. It was electric. Best buzz I've ever felt'
- Kirstyn Smith
- 15 June 2017
Scottish singer-songwriter talks festivals, trainer theft and a lack of enthusiasm for walking
'The worst parts of playing a festival are walking. Not a fan of walking. The mud, I can handle. But the walking? No, ta.'
Walking aside, it's hard to imagine Gerry Cinnamon having a bad festival. If you stumbled past the T Break stage early in proceedings on the Sunday at T in the Park 2015, you'll remember the racket that greeted Cinnamon's set. It's not that he's a cult figure as such, but his legion of fans are exactly that: fanatic. In the best possible way.
'First time playing a festival I've been going to since I was 15. No record out. No label. Just word of mouth,' recalls Gerry. For half an hour before the set even started, fans were gathering and chanting his name; by the time it began, there was barely room for a small one at the back. 'When it finally kicked off you could feel the energy in the tent. It was electric. Best buzz I've ever felt.'
It's this word-of-mouth – or word-of-social-media – that has followers jumping at the chance to catch him live and can be attributed to Cinnamon selling out the O2 ABC in Glasgow in just two days at the end of last year, a feat acts with marketing budgets would kill for. It's the grassroots aesthetic around Cinnamon that's largely part of the appeal. He describes himself as 'a shambles' and he's tapping into the DIY crowdfunding movement when it comes to his new album, which he's funded on PledgeMusic.
'My hands have been busted,' he says, 'so it's took me a year to finish this album.' With about four albums worth of material ready to go, his plans are to get this one out, then: 'wee tour, few headline shows, go abroad, Amsterdam show maybe, then release all my tunes and wrap it before it destroys me.'
But that's the future. For now, there's a summerful of festivals to gear up for: as well as TRNSMT in Glasgow in July, he's gigging at ButeFest and Belladrum, as well as EH6 Festival later in the year. Which gives him enough opportunities to create more classic festival memories.
'The worst was waking up with sunstroke, face down on a lilo at T in the Park about ten years ago and realising the place was empty. Full can of Carling in one hand, full can of Tennents in the other. Both opened. I don't even drink lager. Three lads from Dundee were battering lumps out of two guys. When I bounced up, I seen I only had one trainer on. Turns out the two older guys were trying to steal my trainers off my feet. Luckily some lovely woman took pity on me and gave me a lift to the train station. By the time I got home I looked like I'd just crossed the desert. It's funny now but at the time it was tough. Shout out to the lovely woman and the lads from Dundee.'
Gerry Cinnamon plays TRNSMT, Glasgow Green, Sat 8 Jul.