Today marks a year since the tragic, premature death of Viola Beach members Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, Jack Dakin and their manager, Craig Tarry, in a car accident in Sweden.

The band formed with original members Frankie Coulson and Jonny Gibson in 2013, making their debut gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. After releasing singles 'Daisies' and 'Love My Love', the lads returned in 2015 with replacements River and Thomas on guitar and bass, respectively.

Credit: Viola Beach

With backing from BBC Introducing, the band recorded and released 'Swings & Waterslides', growing a following in the process which was big enough to earn them a slot at Reading and Leeds Festival that year.

Credit: Viola Beach

In January 2016, they released 'Boys That Sing' and 'Like a Fool'. It coincided with the news that they would be embarking on a tour with fellow UK indie rockers Blossoms that would see them dropping off at various festivals including T in the Park.

The tour would be tragically cut short in a freak accident on the E4 motorway bridge over the Södertälje canal in Sweden on February 13, 2016. It spawned a mass outpouring of affection from other bands and musicians and fans alike. Blossoms opened each of their nights with a prerecorded set of Viola Beach's music while Coldplay, now famously, dedicated an entire bit of the Glastonbury headlining set to a cover of 'Boys That Sing'.

"We're going to create Viola Beach's alternative future for them and let them play Glastonbury for a song," singer Chris Martin said.

"This would have been [Viola Beach] in 20 years."

It was a fitting tribute to a promising, homegrown band taken far too soon.

Featured Image Credit: Viola Beach

Josh Teal

U wot m8

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock comment cursor facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp