Warrington band Viola Beach – Jack Dakin, Kris Leonard, Tomas Lowe, River Reeves and their manager Craig Tarry – tragically passed away on Saturday 13th of February following a road accident in Stockholm, Sweden.
They were a truly great team of young men and about to the take on the world together. The four piece recently put out their second single ‘Boys That Sing’ on the 22nd of January on Communion Records.
All proceeds made from the single will be donated from Communion Records to the band and Craig’s families.
Here is some footage recorded of the band at a recent concert at London venue Koko. An amazing group: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ftfubbn84mfh46s/AADpi4Ad13MhoyFvIBsxzAq1a?dl=0
A statement on behalf of Culture Warrington in response to the tragic news about Viola Beach:
“We are deeply saddened and shocked to hear the news about the passing of Warrington’s Viola Beach and their manager in a tragic road accident in Sweden.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of the members of the band at this very sad time.”
Communion Records: 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.
Mark Bennett, United Talent agency: ‘From your first gig to your last and many in between I was so lucky to be there and I will be forever grateful for you lightning up my life with your infectious, beautiful and joyful behaviour. Craig Tarry could be seen at every gig, head bobbing and just simply and purely loving the music. I must of called him more than anyone in the last 6 months, even Thursday we must of spoke 8/9 times. You started as a colleague and you ended as a good mate. I will miss you dearly’.
Ian Grimble, Producer: ‘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. This combined with undoubted talent and an incredible work ethic for ones so young made every long hour in the studio from then on very rewarding indeed.
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.
They were a young band who wrote about what they knew, a legacy for new young bands I hope.
“And she told me that she loves a boy who knows how to sing, so I learned how to sing”
And how they sang.
My thoughts are with their friends and family right now’.
Rich Perry, Radio Plugger: ‘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.
Craig, Kris, Riv, Jack & Tom you were my friends. It’s an honour to have spent time with you doing what we all love. RIP’
Conrad Murray – SJM: ‘We are devastated by the tragic loss of the lives of Craig, Jack, Kris, Tom & River. They were a truly talented bunch of young men on the cusp of something very special and it was always a pleasure and a genuine thrill to be in their presence’.
Jack – SJM: ‘We have lost an incredible group of talented young men. Individually brilliant, together even better. Humbled to have shared time with them and I know how proud the town of Warrington has been to produce such shining stars’.