Olympic Live Session: Tom Speight


Tom Speight

Director: Chris Kimsey

Running Time: 105 minutes

Certificate: non - Live Performance

Country: UK

Format: 2D

Tom Speight began his music career supporting acts such as Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Travis and Keane with record labels circling around eager to sign him until, in 2014, he discovered he had Crohn’s Disease and nearly died. After a major operation and months in hospital he spent two years in recovery, and almost gave up on his dream of becoming a musician as the music industry moved on.

Eventually though, Tom felt ready to try again. He borrowed £2,000 to make his first record, and since then he has released 6 EPs over 24 months. Radio 2 have taken him under their wing, playlisting five of his singles. Graham Norton, Dermot O’Leary, Zoe Ball and Jo Whiley have all been strong supporters of Tom’s music. He went to No.1 in Brazil with ‘Little Love’ and Tom’s songs have now been streamed 60m times.

As a kid, Tom Speight listened endlessly to those early Leonard Cohen albums, borrowing his older sister’s classical guitar to work out the chords. That element of simplicity remains in his music, but his recent work feels more inclined towards Ryan Adams’ Autumnal romanticism, or even the simple yet affecting Celtic soul of Damian Rice, where each note has its own place driven by a deeply personal connection to the music.

Tom always knew he would pursue a career in musician, an ambition that took him to Liverpool to study at LIPA, where he won the prize as best songwriter of the year and was lucky enough to perform in front of Paul McCartney.

He started work ‘Collide’ in Belfast at the beginning of 2018. However, during this period he suffered a second bout of Crohn’s, which nearly killed him and forced him into hospital for over two months, narrowly missing out on further surgery.

However, with every negative setback Tom finds a positive. Whilst in hospital, heartbroken after breaking up with his girlfriend, and with a cannula in his hand, he put pen to paper. He finished writing that song (‘Strangers Now’) with Lisa Hannigan as soon as he got out of hospital, and recorded the track in Abbey Road Studios.

And despite his illness, Tom has continues to gig relentlessly; within a week of leaving hospital in May he was on the road with Snow Patrol, and he has also recently supported Kooks and Tom Odell, as well as performing his own, sold-out headline dates.


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