10th Dec, 2016

Viola Beach played final UK gig in Warwickshire before fatal crash in Sweden

Stratford Editorial 15th Feb, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A ROCK band who were all killed after their car hurtled off a bridge in Sweden played their final UK gig at Leamington’s Zephyr Lounge – just two days before the tragedy.

Four members of indie band Viola Beach and their manager died in Sweden after their car plunged more than 80ft from a highway bridge  into a canal in the early hours of Saturday (February 13).

Musicians Kris Leonard, 19, River Reeves, 19, Jack Dakin, 24 and 27-year-old Tomas Lowe were killed in Stockholm alongside their manager Craig Tarry, 32, while returning from Swedish music festival Where is the Music. They were due to play a gig in Guildford in Surrey on the day of the crash.

The band from Warrington in Cheshire had performed what would be their final UK show at the Zephyr Lounge on Thursday night (February 12) along with bands Blossoms and The Vryll Society.

The show was a sell-out with fans paying £10 for a ticket and filling the 250 capacity venue on Spencer Street.

After the fatal crash, band Blossoms – who had headlined the show – tweeted: “Absolutely devastated for the loss of Viola Beach and Craig Tarry. Our thoughts are with their friends and families.”

And chart-topping Coventry band The Enemy tweeted: “RIP Viola Beach and their manager. Such incredibly tragic and sad news. Thought with the friends and families of all involved x.”

Swedish police say the vehicle – believed to have been a rented Nissan Qashqai – plunged through a gap in the bridge which had opened to let a boat pass underneath. The accident happened at the Saltskogs junction between the E4 and E20 motorways.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that five British nationals died in a car accident in Sweden on February 13.

“We are in contact with local authorities and supporting the families at this very difficult time.”