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British Indie Band Viola Beach and Their Manager Die in Car Accident

Viola Beach
Super Cat PR

Four members of the English indie-rock outfit Viola Beach have died in a car accident near Stockholm.

CNN reports the band’s van drove off a bridge in Norrköping, Sweden, on Saturday (Feb. 13). The bridge was partially raised, and the van drove through a barrier and fell through a gap into the canal below. Viola Beach frontman Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe, drummer Jack Dakin and the band’s manager Craig Tarry were killed in the accident.

Reeves’ family issued a statement through the U.K. Foreign Office:

All River wanted to do was perform and entertain and to think that he will never make us laugh again with his ridiculous impressions and cheeky banter is beyond comprehension for all his family. River had such talent and such humility, such charm and such innocence it seems so unfair that he can be taken so cruelly from us like this. We are so proud of him, not only for what he achieved in his short, beautiful life, but also what he was clearly destined to achieve.

The Warrington, England-hailing band was in the midst of their very first international tour. They had just performed at Where’s the Music? Festival in Norrköping on Friday, and they were set to open for fellow British indie-rockers Blossoms in Guildford, England, on Saturday. They were also scheduled to play this year’s SXSW in Austin.

The band’s label Communion Records issued the following statement:

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.

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