WHEN your musical preferences stopped evolving around about the mid-1980s, you’re not really in a position to offer critiques of much that’s happened since. If you were being polite, you might say that my tastes have been in a state of arrested development. This is a kind way of saying that my musical development was battered into submission at the Apollo by Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Whitesnake and Judas Priest and has been inert ever since.

It now exists on the margins of polite society, shunned by thoughtful and sophisticated people who post album covers on Twitter of bands like Belle and Sebastian with the slogan ‘Now Playing’. For me, if it doesn’t feature a demonically-possessed drummer like Philthy Animal Taylor of Motorhead, a five-minute howl from an electric guitar and the Earl of Hell himself on lead vocals then I’m just not interested.

Thus, when I agreed to attend an open-air ‘pop’ concert in Dublin last month headlined by Gerry Cinnamon I was breaking new ground. And besides, I’d heard his name being mentioned by younger nieces and nephews who seemed to adore him. Few of our family gatherings are not complete without some community singing that includes the first verse of Belter which has become his signature song: “She is a belter/Different from the rest/Diamonds on her finger/And she always looks her best./She is a gangster/With a hundred mile stare/When she walks/Her feet don't touch the flair.”

With the exception of AC/DC’s sensitive 1977 etude Whole Lotta Rosie, I’ve tended to avoid love songs, but Belter has now taken up residence inside my head. To hear it sung in full-fat Glaswegian by 35,000 Dubliners was a startling and humbling experience.

And so I decided to go with the flow on this one and joined 110,000 people at Hampden over two nights last weekend. It was probably the most remarkable concert I’ve ever attended. At one point the bloke behind me said: “Have you ever seen Hampden as happy as this?”

I was tempted to say that I’ve been at football games where Hampden has been rocking, but no, I hadn’t actually seen this place looking as joyful and exhilarating at it was last weekend. There was no aggressiveness here; only a rather touching desire by young people to share what they were feeling with others.

At one point, moved to the point of tears by the adoration of his home crowd, Gerry Cinnamon re-affirmed his intention to avoid press and television interviews. “This is about me and you,” he told them. And this cynical, old journalist immediately got it.

In an interview he would have been compelled to choose his words carefully and convey a varnished and manicured version of himself. He doesn’t want a middle-man to come between him and his followers, many of whom have been on a decade-long journey with him.

Hampden Park for this remarkable musician really is home. He was raised in Castlemilk, Glasgow’s sprawling and edgy south-side neighbourhood which is just up the road from Hampden. From the release of his first EP 12 years ago and open-mic sessions in small venues around the city he has become the most recognisable Scottish musician on the planet. And all of it has been achieved without the Black Widow kisses of a record company.

Perhaps his reluctance to entertain the media was the main reason why his two record-breaking Hampden concerts were largely ignored by press and television. Rather, they opted to carry stories of a few arrests and some ticket problems. Perhaps it was the fact that the overwhelming bulk of his fans channel an authentic, sweary, not-giving-two-friar-tucks working-class sense of solidarity.

You got the sense that – young and old (and there were plenty of people there who were old) – they felt that their culture and their voices were being represented by Gerry Cinnamon and that after 12 years his soul remained intact. He was as proud of them as they were of him.

This obviously makes some people feel uncomfortable. On social media last week the response to his concerts was largely positive but there was something else. It was captured in this tweet: “His music is for neds. Much like Oasis. So, nah. I think it says more for the folk who like his music and society, in general.”

Much of it was to be expected. It was the response of those who live on processed food wrapped in fancy packaging and are suddenly introduced to something with a low salt and sugar content. At a Gerry Cinnamon concert, you won’t find any contrived orchestration with a few violinists hired from the local Conservatoire to make it all seem cinematic and profound.

There were no troupes of swaying backing singers harmonising the lifeblood out of songs. There was no wall of synthetic sound providing artificial soul. Only a good guitar player with a great voice and original songs which don’t claim to speak for his community, just speak with them. And a small, tight backing-group to keep it all moving along sweetly.

There was a hint too of the resentment you often observe when someone from a working-class background becomes successful and is assumed to have “done well for himself”. Some of this is simply jealousy; some of it pure malice that comes from a darker place associated with the singer’s support for Scottish independence in 2014.

Darren McGarvey, aka Loki, the author and hip-hop artist took to Twitter to express his admiration and to recall a time when both were struggling. Mr McGarvey also initially encountered some resentment in our media class for daring to be better and more successful than them without first attending university.

“My Gerry Cinnamon story,” he wrote, “is that he used to work in a coffee place where I was once a regular and he stamped loads of loyalty cards for me so I could get free coffee. I'm mainly a hip hop guy but happy to see a local lad do well and for local folk to feel represented culturally.”

Glasgow is proud of Gerry Cinnamon and so am I.

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