Viola Beach ‘had everything going for them – great songs, passion, talent, drive’
viola beach

Tributes have been paid to Viola Beach after the band and their manager died when their car plunged 80ft into a canal in Sweden, during their first tour abroad.

Band members Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry were killed when their vehicle crashed just hours after they played their first gig outside the UK.

The news has shocked those who knew and worked with them.

Ian Grimble, the band’s producer, who has worked with the likes of Mumford & Sons said:

“I first became aware of Viola Beach through their single Swings & Waterslides and was very taken by the energy and vibrancy that jumped out of the speakers. Upon meeting them for the first time, along with Craig their manager, I could soon see why, their exuberance and determination to scream out to the world was overwhelming. It is with great sadness that we will not be able to see them grow from the spark that they are now, into the raging fire that they so desperately desired to become.”

In a statement Communion Records, the band’s label, spoke of its “total shock and sorrow”:

“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. This is why the band had been in Sweden, rather than sit back and wait for it to happen to them, Kris, River, Jack and Tom were determined to go out into the world and play every show they could until the world was singing along with them, and now that dream has been sadly taken away from all of us.

“Equally, Craig, their manager was possessed by a passion to help the band achieve everything they wanted to, and to speak with Craig about Viola Beach, and music in general was an absolute pleasure – you knew he was doing it all for the right reasons

“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. We would also like to announce that any proceeds made from the single will be donated to the band and Craig’s family.”

The music world was in shock at the news yesterday. Here is a selection of tributes to Viola Beach.

Main image: PA / handout