Gerry Cinnamon – Live Review – Utilita Arena, Sheffield
By Alex Lattimore, September 2021
Gerry Cinnamon never wanted to be famous. The Glaswegian troubadour planned to release his debut album Erratic Cinematic and then quit the music business, given his strong dislike of the industry. However, the success of his 2017 LP, and his growing reputation as a live performer, persuaded him to continue, and he reached the top of the UK charts in 2020 with his follow-up album The Bonny, again released through his own label Little Runaway. The 13,000 people who packed into the Utilita Arena in Sheffield were also glad the singer-songwriter – real name Gerard Crosbie – decided to carry on, as he delivered an almighty performance for the sell-out crowd.
It’s always a sign that an audience are up for a gig when they join in with the music played over the speakers before the headline act arrives on stage. This was certainly the case here, with the likes of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ and, of course, ‘Sweet Caroline’, causing mass singalongs. Liverpool four-piece Circa Waves also did a fine job of warming up the crowd, playing a snappy 40-minute set ahead of the main man’s arrival.
When Gerry strode on stage, accompanied by just an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, he looked every bit the showman, and over the next 90 minutes proved why he has such a glowing reputation. His 19-song set kicked off with the first three tracks on Erratic Cinematic – ‘Sometimes’, ‘Lullaby’ and ‘What Have You Done’, whipping the crowd into a frenzy that barely let up throughout. There’s no doubt that Cinnamon is also a hugely talented musician, combining singing with some intricate guitar playing, harmonica solos and beat pedals to add that extra oomph to his tunes.
Even some minor sound issues during the last few songs didn’t deter proceedings. A speaker appeared to buckle under the pressure, causing the sound to become slightly muffled, but the audience didn’t seem to mind and carried on singing every word right up until the final tune – The Bonny’s opener ‘Canter’. That same song was then played again over the PA system as people were filing out, leading to one final opportunity for those in attendance to stretch their vocal cords.
Gerry is taking a break from touring now, before returning next summer for some huge outdoor shows in Nottingham, Swansea, Cardiff, Cork and Dublin, rounding things off with a homecoming show at Hampden Park in Glasgow next July.