Viola Beach Biography
Viola Beach formed in Warrington in mid-2013, the original members being Kris Leonard (guitar and vocals), Frankie Coulson (guitar), Jonny Gibson (bass) and Jack Dakin (drums). The band's last lineup was formed in May 2015 with original members Leonard and Dakin joined by River Reeves (guitar) and Tomas Lowe (bass). They made their debut at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. Their first single "Swings and Waterslides" was added to the BBC Radio 1 playlist in September 2015. The band was promoted by BBC Introducing, which described their songs as "infectious anthems" with "hints of slacker pop". They performed at the BBC Introducing Stage of the 2015 Reading and Leeds Festivals. In November 2015, the band recorded a live session for BBC Radio 1. The band released their second single, "Boys That Sing" / "Like a Fool", on the Communion Records label on 22 January 2016. Following news of the band members' deaths, it was announced that all proceeds from the single would be donated to the families of the band members and of their manager.
When asked about his musical influences, singer-guitarist Kris Leonard said, "I'm definitely not consciously influenced by anyone", but mentioned The Coral, The Zutons, The Beatles and Hooton Tennis Club as being among his favourite Liverpool bands.He also said the Kooks's debut studio album Inside In/Inside Out played a big part in him becoming a musician. BBC Introducing recommended the band to fans of Coasts and the Kooks.
On 13 February 2016, the four band members and their manager, Craig Tarry, were killed in an accident at the E4 motorway bridge at Södertälje, southwest of Stockholm.Witnesses saw the car fall through a gap in the bridge, which was open to let a boat pass. The band was in Sweden, having played at the Where's the Music? festival in Norrköping the previous day. They were scheduled to play at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, in March 2016.
As of 14 February 2016, the officially recognised cause or reasons for the road traffic incident has not been formally confirmed by the Swedish authorities.