Review: Gerry Cinnamon – The Bonny
Scottish superstar, Gerry Cinnamon hits all the right notes with UK number one album, The Bonny.
Words by Conor O’Donoghue
Gerard Crosbie, better known as Gerry Cinnamon to many, has taken the UK music scene by storm over the last few years. The Scot had a whirlwind introduction to music virality. A debut UK number one album with Erratic Cinematic in 2017, a sold-out Scottish tour in 2018 and spots at festivals such as Benicàssim, Isle of Wight, Kendal Calling, Y Not? and Glastonbury in 2019, topped off what has been a stellar few years for the Scottish Indie-folk singer.
Having hit over 2 million views on Youtube with a viral set at TRNSMT Festival in Scotland. It was clear to see why Cinnamon was so popular among the younger generation. In March, Gerry Cinnamon announced that he was releasing his new album The Bonny on April 17th.
Upbeat, melodic and impossible not to appreciate the type of atmosphere that the Glaswegian generates with his music. Armed with just a guitar and a foot pedal, Gerry Cinnamon has concocted a winning formula. His second album The Bonny follows a lot of the same traits from his debut, Erratic Cinematic.
The Bonny is an album of despair, hope and tales of small-town heroes. Cinnamon described the album as:
“It’s the contrast between the foreground and the background that gets me. It’s the look in her eyes. Hypnotic. Look at the image as a whole, it looks concrete and dangerous but she looks strong… resilient.
“There’s not many things stronger in this life than a mother’s love for her kid. The Bonny is just a metaphor for dreaming something into existence and building it bigger for the people you love. If that image doesn’t capture what The Bonny is about, I don’t know what does. It tells a million stories.”
Fans of Gerry cinnamon are well used to the acoustic guitar and stomping beat, adjoined with lines that has made him so successful. Those who have attended any of his gigs will already be familiar with ‘Canter’. A song that dwells on the fact that you never know what will happen next, coupled with the realisation that you might not have a lot of time left and deciding to do what you want to do and don’t let fears hold you back.
The track hits the uptempo trademark sound on the loop pedal around the two minute mark. A track that creates a recognisable atmosphere when played at concerts.
“But it should be a canter… if you could just find the answer… you know it could be a canter… if you were just a wee bit less of a wanker… mare’ than half ae’ the time…”
Another track fans will love is ‘Where We’re Going?’ The song talks about a dark time in the singers life. A tale of optimism and hope when everything else around you seems to be falling apart. It’s a tune that wouldn’t sound out of place in a British indie film or a global pandemic, perhaps? The lyrics and the acoustic guitar combine nicely here to create a lovely track. Anyone who enjoyed Erratic Cinema’s ‘Sometimes’ will love this track.
“Can I get back to my loneliness?… I don’t know what to do with all the happiness… that you’re giving me lately…”
Cinnamon said in an interview:
“‘Where We’re Going’ I wrote years ago at a dark time in my life. Folk can attach their own meaning to it but really it’s about being in a shit place with no way out, mixed with a gentle reminder to hold onto whatever wee dream you have. A mixture of dark stuff with some positive reality.”
However, the standout track for me is the title-track ‘The Bonny’. Harmonicas and a hope for better days results in being one of the strongest tracks on the album. The Bonny is known as slang for a bonfire but Cinnamon said that it’s a metaphor for dreaming something into existence and building on it. Like a bonfire, you build your hopes and dreams up.
The track has that stereotypical Gerry Cinnamon floor-stomping energy that is sure to be a festival hit when it all starts up again:
“Believe and build your Bonny… gonna never know unless you try… one life is a short time… and no one knows where you go when you die…”
Anyone who has seen Gerry Cinnamon in the last two years can only describe his concerts and songs as complete mayhem. A friend once described the entire Gerry Cinnamon phenomenon as Ed Sheeran for soccer hooligans who want to have a good time. His raw unpolished image, combined with the simplicity of the acoustic guitar make the Scot a favourite for many.
In my opinion, Cinnamons tales of drugs, growing up and achieving dreams resonates with so many people across the UK and Ireland.
Anyone who has been to a Gerry Cinnamon concert has been through the ladish comradery, the heartbreak and some sort of adventure at some stage in their lives that you envisage his music soundtracking.
The Bonny is classic Gerry Cinnamon. It pulls on the heartstrings, it gives you hope and it makes you think. The second album is a worthy follow-up to Erratic Cinema. The ‘Belter’ singer’s sound may become repetitive two or three albums from now, but all that matters is that right now, The Bonny is a worthy addition to Cinnamon’s discography.
Songs worth putting on repeat: ‘Where We’re Going’, ‘Canter’ and ‘The Bonny’