Following a road accident in Stockholm, Sweden on February 13, the members of rising U.K. indie rock group Viola Beach—Jack Dakin, Kris Leonard, Tomas Lowe, River Reeves, and manager Craig Tarry— passed away.
We recently identified Viola Beach as an up-and coming band to watch, and they were renowned for their upbeat poppy sound, the enthusiasm of their live performances, and how enjoyable they were to be around. In a press release, radio plugger Rich Perry said of the band, “This is the saddest news. Purely from a people perspective, we’ve lost 5 great humans. From a professional perspective, rarely have I’m been as sure of a band & manager who felt destined for the big time. “
In the same release, the band’s record label, Communion Records, had this to say:
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 spoke with Leonard in October 2015 and he told us of the band’s ambitions, “This is all kind of just a hope to bring something so that one day someone can be in our situation and say that we’re the reason they started doing it. That kind of drives us a bit, ya know? The hope that one day someone might pick up a guitar because of something that we’ve done.”
On January 22, the band released the single “Boys That Sing” on Communion Records, and now the label is donating all proceeds from the track to the band and Tarry’s families.
Listen to “Boys That Sing” below.