The four-man band, Viola Beach, and their manager lost their lives after crashing into a canal in Sweden

This weekend we were hit by the tragic news that Indie rocker band Viola Beach – along with their manager – died as their car plunged into a canal in Sweden.

Kris Leonard (Guitar/Vocals), 20,  River Reeves (Guitar), 19, Tomas Lowe (Bass), 27, and Jack Dakin (Drums) and manager Craig Tarry, 32 were killed when their car dropped 80ft off a bridge into a canal.

What makes it all the more heartbreaking is that their performance at the Where’s the Music? Festival in Norrkoping was their first gig abroad and their future in the music industry was looking successful.


Before the accident the band were in good spirits with an optimistic post on their Facebook page.

It read: ‘Very excited to announce we’ve been invited by to play BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation’s showcase at SXSW Music Festival in Austin Texas at Latitude 30 on Wednesday 16th March!!’

And they were also happily promoting their music on Twitter:

The four-man band had been tipped as one of the biggest new acts on the indie music scene and after their death were number six on the official UK chart  thanks to a fan campaign to get them to number one.

They had formed in 2013 and were based in Warrington, Cheshire.

They released their first single, Swings and Waterslides, in August and were on tour in the UK when they visited Sweden.

In less than 6 months the band had been included in Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac’s ‘New Names’ list, been hailed as ‘Great Expectations’ on Radio X, wowed the crowds at Reading & Leeds Festival, shook Maida Vale to its rafters for BBC Introducing, hit number 2 on the Hype Machine blog chart, and stunned Courteeners fans after joining them on the road.

Singer Kris and the band’s drummer Jack had been friends since they were four-years-old.

After the news of their death their management Communion released a statement:

‘Everyone here at Communion is in a state of total shock and sorrow, and our thoughts go out to the families and friends of Craig and the band,’ write the label.

It continues: ‘Viola Beach had only recently come into the Communion family, and had everything going for them – great songs, passion, talent, drive… everything that a band should have. To sit down with the band was to sit down with a group of guys whose band you wanted to be in, and to be in the presence of a band who knew just what it would take to make it.’

The label also announced that they will be donating all proceeds made from the single to the band’s families.

They were due to fly out to Texas next month with an appearance at SXSW confirmed.

Other festivals they were due to appear at through 2016 include The Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City, Bushstock, Latitude, The Secret Garden Party, Liverpool International Music Festival and T In The Park.

Our thoughts are with all their family and friends.

Lydia Southern/ @lydiasouthern