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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
viola beach

Viola Beach debut album headed for Number 1 after band's tragic death

The British band were killed in a road accident while on tour in Sweden.

THE DEBUT ALBUM by Viola Beach, the band whose members died in a tragic incident earlier this year, is headed for number one in the British charts.

The indie four-piece and their manager were killed after their car plunged more than 25 metres from a bridge into a canal in Stockholm in February.

The band members – vocalist Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe, drummer Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry - were aged between 19 and 32.

The group released their debut single in 2015 and had just played their first gig outside of the UK when the accident occurred.

Their self-titled debut album was posthumously released on Friday. According to Official Charts, it is already 6,000 copies in combined sales ahead of last week’s British number one album by ELO.

That puts it on track for being number one this week.

Martin Talbot of the Official Charts Company said:

Following the terribly tragic events of February, everyone will have been rooting for the Viola Beach album this week, so it’s fantastic news that it is doing so well – I’m sure we will all be keeping our fingers crossed that it can hold on at Number 1.

The album, which can be listened to here, was released by family and friends of the band.

In a statement on the Viola Beach Facebook page, they said:

We are tremendously proud of everything the boys achieved in such a short space of time. Craig, Jack, Kris, River and Tom shared a huge passion, talent and dedication to music.
We believe the best way to celebrate our sons’ lives is to release an album of their songs.
This is their legacy and we know deep in our hearts that the boys would want the world to listen to the music they poured everything into. This was only the beginning for them and these nine songs were written with every intention to be shared, heard and, most of all, enjoyed.
We hope that it brings you as much happiness listening to it as we know it did to them making it.

In its review of the record, the NME said:

“Viola Beach is not the debut album they would have made, but it’s the only legacy they’ll leave; you’re glad that it exists but, at the same time, you wish it didn’t have to.”

Tragic accident

During their Stockholm trip, the band’s car drove through a signal light and two barriers towards a canal bridge which had not fully shut after letting a vessel pass underneath.

According to AFP, a preliminary autopsy found that the driver did not have “elevated levels of drugs or alcohol” in his body, and surveillance footage from the bridge provided no clues to the cause of the accident.

Read: Car crash that killed British band remains a mystery>

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