- Words Notion Staff
From watching Blink 182 through binoculars to an early Battle of the Bands, Amber Run takes us through their most memorable musical firsts.
With up to a decade’s worth of material under their belt, indie-rock trio Amber Run have throughout the years showcased their undefeated musicality via a string of infectious singles. Never short of content, the last four years have seen the group successfully share a new album annually and continue to prove the breadth of their creative vision.
Consisting of Joe Keogh (frontman/guitarist), Tomas Sperring (bassist) and Henry Wyeth (keyboardist), altogether Amber Run are taking the indie scene by storm as they weave in atmospheric harmonies and subtle touches of electronica into their sound.
Recently sharing their brand-new album, ‘How To Be Human’ is a 13-track project asking all the right questions. Gliding listeners through tranquil acoustics and emotionally raw lyrics, Amber Run are sharing a new sense of vulnerability on this album. Alongside the arrival of their latest, the group are bursting into 2023 with the announcement of a 17-date tour around the UK and Europe.
With an exciting year ahead of them, band member Joe Keogh takes a step back to reflect on some of his most memorable musical firsts. From spinning “Life Is A Rollercoaster” by Ronan Keating on a ‘NOW That’s What I Call Music!’ CD, to falling starstruck for David Gilmour, Joe recalls it all.
First song you ever made?
I’m pretty sure it was called “Saving Summer”. I think I had been watching too much of The OC. The song was dreadful, but we had such a good time playing it, so what does it matter? Tom and I were in a school band called The Vegas and were playing at all the ‘Battle of the Bands’ and pubs around High Wycombe.
First time you performed together as a band?
As Amber Run, it was at an acoustic open mic night in Nottingham, at a bar called Rescue Rooms.
First song you released officially?
In Amber Run, it was a cover of “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap. It was a song I used to sing with my dad whenever we were in the car and we thought it would be fun to try doing her vocoder effect with human harmony instead. That cover led us to being able to work out how to sing our single “I Found”.
First CD or record you owned?
It was a ‘NOW That’s What I Call Music!’ CD. It had “Life Is A Rollercoaster” by Ronan Keating on it, so whichever ‘NOW That’s What I Call Music!’ CD that was. It wasn’t necessarily ‘cool’ but god I loved that song. Hairbrush, mirror and the works.
First time you realised you wanted to be a musician?
I’ve always loved writing songs, or making up stupid rhymes since I was a kid. I wanted a vehicle for people to be able to hear the music when I was growing up and now I can’t imagine doing anything else. It gets a hold of you, creating. I don’t think I could give it up now.
First gig you went to?
Blink 182 at Wembley Arena. They brought Robert Smith from The Cure out with them. It was awesome. We were so far away that we hired binoculars to see but it was still great.
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
Getting dropped by RCA was pretty rough. You had dreamed of something for your entire life and then you realise it’s just ‘business’ to the people you surround yourself with. But it’s a privilege obstacle to have. I’m proud of the failures as well as the triumphs. We wouldn’t have had our second record without this particular moment.
First instrument you owned?
A metallic blue Ibanez. I can’t remember the model but it was loud, brash and gross. It seemed a good idea at the time.
First time you felt like giving up?
When my first girlfriend’s reaction to the song I had written for her was, ‘meh, heard better’. Ruthless and definitely true.
First time you felt starstruck?
When Sir David Gilmour came to watch a show of ours.
First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?
Our first tour of America. We had been speaking about doing it since we were 12 years old. It came after a decade of hanging out and making music. I don’t know why it was such a big deal to us. But it was, and now we have done it again and again and it’s always great.