Scotland

Gerry Cinnamon: The do-it-yourself stadium act

Gerry Cinnamon on stage at T in the Park with an acoustic guitar Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gerry Cinnamon performed at T in the Park in 2016

Gerry Cinnamon is expected to sell out his biggest show to date, a massive homecoming gig at Glasgow's Hampden Park. He will follow in the footsteps of stadium acts such as Oasis, U2, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones - but his rise has been achieved while operating outside the mainstream music industry.

When the Rolling Stones played at Hampden, Gerry Cinnamon could have listened to them from his home in the city's Castlemilk area.

Now he is joining the list of major acts to perform at Scotland's national stadium.

Music journalist Billy Sloan says it is particularly impressive that Cinnamon has got there on his own.

"When you think of the people who have played Hampden over the years - the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Oasis - they all had big record company machines behind them," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The singer-songwriter from Castlemilk has been drawing bigger and bigger crowds

"Gerry Cinnamon has basically Gerry Cinnamon behind him. He's just a guy and a guitar."

The singer-songwriter's rise has been achieved without the help of the traditional music industry.

He built his reputation himself, using social media to promote his music and generate the buzz for his live performances.

Speaking to BBC Scotland two years ago, he said he had been ready to give music up before a Glasgow bar gave him the chance to do an open mic night.

Image caption Cinnamon has also played at the TRNSMT festival

It had originally been run as a workshop to warn young people about the dangers of the industry, but Cinnamon's performances saw its popularity grow.

"Some nights The Priory was absolutely bouncing," he said.

"People were thinking it was a gig but it was just a jam night."

Cinnamon said the decision to avoid "toxic characters" in the music industry had allowed him to do things on his own terms.

"I just put out some free content on Soundcloud and it just got bigger and bigger with no promotion whatsoever, no industry backing, no radio, not even really any social media presence," he said in 2017.

"What I find in terms of the small success that I've had, with no backing, just doing it off my own back is the way I wanted to do it - I wanted to prove that you can do it on your own."

As word of mouth grew, the places he played became larger and larger, before he moved on to festival line-ups and some of Scotland's best-known venues.

Two years ago he played two sold-out nights at the Barrowlands - the first time an unsigned act had sold out the venue.

He also released his debut album, Erratic Cinematic, a crowd-funded effort which briefly outsold Ed Sheeran.

Cinnamon is currently on a UK tour which has sold out across the country, and will end the year with two nights at the 13,000-capacity Hydro in Glasgow.

He will also perform in Australia with former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, who has said Cinnamon is doing "supernatural things".

The release of his second album next spring will be followed by the Hampden show in July.

"Hampden Park in the sunshine. New album under my belt. We'll have that place rocking easy," said Gerry.

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