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Warrington set to remember tragic band Viola Beach


A book of condolence is to be opened and the town hall flag flown at half mast as Warrington remembers local band Viola Beach who were all tragically killed in a car crash in Sweden over the weekend.

The Town Hall flag will be flown at half-mast this week in memory of the four members of local band Viola Beach, and their manager Craig Tarry, who died in Stockholm at the weekend.

Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin attended Priestley College, and were due to play a homecoming gig at the Pyramid next month. Local people are invited to show their respect by signing of book of condolence either at the town hall or at the council’s customer contact centre in Horsemarket Street. Those who wish to lay flowers or other tributes can do so at the town hall’s Golden Gates.

Mayor of Warrington, Councillor Geoff Settle, said: “We are deeply saddened and shocked at what happened in Sweden at the weekend. Warrington has lost a talented young band on the verge of something special and a group of young people with their whole lives ahead of them.

“I first heard the sad news on Radio 2, early Sunday morning. Since then there have been a cascade of tributes across social media and many on the Mayor of Warrington’s Facebook site.

Mayor Geoff Settle

Mayor Geoff Settle

“Many people in Warrington are still coming to terms with the news and I would ask that grieving families and friends to be given time and space so that they can take on board the enormity of what has happened.

“Our thoughts are with families and friends in Warrington and beyond.”

Warrington Borough Council is offering its support to local schools and communities touched by the tragedy.

There will be a period of reflection at the next full council meeting on 29 February.

Meanwhile an investigation is under way by Swedish police into the cause of the accident which killed Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry, when their car plunged more than 80 ft from a bridge into a canal near Stockholm.

The bridge had been opened to allow a boat to go through. Warning lights were flashing and the band’s car is believed to have over taken other vehicles in a queue.

Only hours earlier, the band, had been playing their first concert outside of the UK at a music festival.

Their grieving families, who have been receiving support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, issued statements saying the band members had been doing what they loved.

The band, which had a cult following at local music bar The Lounge, were due to perform at a sell out gig in their home town at the Parr Hall next month.

The Four-piece band was Kris Leonard – guitar, lead vocal; River Reeves – guitar; Tomas Lowe – bass; Jack Dakin – drums, and was formed in May last year.

They released debut single Swings & Waterslides last year and put out their second single Boys That Sing out on January 22 and played several BBC Introducing Sessions.

The band also performed at Reading and Leeds Festival in 2015 and alongside Pixie Lott at Warrington Festival last summer.

Viola Beach pictured at Warrington Festival last summer - Picture Paul Jackson

Viola Beach pictured at Warrington Festival last summer – Picture Paul Jackson


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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