The Music Of Viola Beach

Viola Beach

It’s a sad task writing the obituary of someone younger than you, and a reminder of your own mortality. This though is not an obituary, although for the four men concerned, it is the end of a dream.

I must confess I’d never heard of indie band Viola Beach, and generally I don’t listen to this kind of music, being more into heavy metal, singer-songwriters, and the enchanting Candice Night. Sadly, the music of Viola Beach will consist of a very limited repertoire forevermore, because the band was formed in Warrington only two and a half years ago, and on February 13, all four members were killed. Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin were in a hired car with their manager Craig Tarry when it plunged from a highway bridge into a canal. This was their first time in Sweden where they had played a festival. Leonard and Dakin were founder members; original bass player Jonny Gibson was replaced by Tomas Lowe, and Reeves replaced guitarist Frankie Coulson. Lowe had previously been a drummer, playing with a band called The Stocks.

Viola Beach made their debut at the new Cavern Club – the original of which was of course made famous by the Beatles.

Their music is a bit on the light side, and not the sort I would normally listen to, but there some decent samples on SoundCloud. Their first offering was Swings & Waterslides, which was released around September of last year, it is a passable if fairly intense number.

Boys That Sing was released last month. The grammatically incorrect title – Boys Who Sing is to be preferred – and the infantile rhyming are fortunately rescued by the music. This uptempo number could pass for background music. Released a tad before this was Cherry Vimto(Vimto is a drink popular in the North of England – at least it was when I lived there, before Tomas Lowe, their oldest member, was born). This is a much better effort, strong melodically.

I have been unable to find any credits, individual or other, so presumably their songs were group compositions. They would undoubtedly have progressed as a band too. Alas, now we will never know.


About the author

Alexander Baron