Amber Run: Happy to be back in Nottingham

Before their homecoming gig at Nottingham Contemporary last night, The Tab got a chance to sit down with Amber Run’s bassist Tom Sperring


Tom studied law at the University of Nottingham but has deferred (“not dropped out – we’re playing it safe because anything could go wrong!”) from his degree to fulfil his dreams of playing Brixton Academy and making an album.

“A law degree is really really tough. You have to do all the work off your own back and it’s really hard to motivate yourself when it’s not something you enjoy. I tried winging it but it didn’t work out all the time.”

Yeah, he's our new best friend

During his second year of uni back in 2012, Tom and Joe Keough (lead singer of Amber Run) started playing Open Mic nights at Rescue Rooms on a Monday night, singing acoustic folky stuff. Joe thought they could make a band out of it and it just so happened they had friends that could piece it all together.

The past 14 months have been crazy for Amber Run. They were picked up by BBC Introducing, played Reading and Leeds Festivals and ‘Noah’ had a week long run on the Radio 1 playlist. Last week, they were supporting Kodaline on tour.

Tom was thankful to Dean Jackson at BBC Nottingham: “He’s probably the reason we are where we are today.”

The boys having a quick practice Run pre-show

Amber Run sound checking in Nottingham Contemporary’s ‘The Space’

Amber Run are on Spotify, if you haven’t already given them a listen. Tom told us: “There’s a lot of talk of Spotify killing the music industry because you get no money from it but it works really well for exposure. It spreads our music to new people through playlists and shares. The more people who can listen to our music, the better.”

The album sounds like it’s going to be pretty big – Mike Crossey, the legend that produced the first Arctic Monkey’s album and has worked with people like Ben Howard, Jake Bugg and The 1975, wanted to work with the band on their upcoming EP and album.

Playing bass and singing beautiful harmonies

Playing bass and singing beautiful harmonies

Tom was glad to be back in Nottingham. “I miss Nottingham itself more than being a student.”

Life on tour isn’t too far from the student lifestyle, though. “I get up late and I stay up late,” he said. “My girlfriend finds it a bit hard to relate to though, she’s in Hallward writing her dissertation and I’m heading out on stage.

“This is what I do now. I’m relying on something we’ve created to pay the bills which is a very surreal concept for me.”

Read our review of Amber Run here