Warrington Town Hall to fly flag at half-mast in memory of band Viola Beach


A flag will fly at half-mast this week in the home town of British indie band Viola Beach who were killed in a car crash in Sweden.

Warrington Town Hall is flying its flag at half-mast in memory of the four members of Viola Beach and their manager Craig Tarry, who died hours after playing their first gig outside the UK.

Musicians Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin were killed along with Mr Tarry following the accident in Sodertalje, 18 miles from the capital Stockholm, in the early hours of Saturday when their car plunged into a canal.

The band, who had been tipped for stardom, had been due to play a homecoming gig at Warrington's Pyramid on March 12.

A book of condolence has been opened at Warrington Town Hall and at Warrington Borough Council's customer contact centre in Horsemarket Street for people to pay tribute to the men, who were aged between 19 and 32.

Other mourners have left flowers at the town hall's Golden Gates.

The 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.

"Many people in Warrington are still coming to terms with the news and I would ask that grieving families and friends 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.

Officers were called to the incident at about 2.30am on Saturday and said the Nissan Qashqai had gone through a barrier of a bridge which had opened to let a boat pass underneath.

The barrier, 50 metres before the opening, had flashing lights and warning signs, the officer handling the case said.

Viola Beach, who had featured on BBC Introducing, which showcases up-and-coming music artists, described themselves as an ''indie pop'' band.

Mr Leonard was on guitar and vocals, Mr Reeves on guitar, Mr Lowe on bass and Mr Dakin on drums.

Following news of their death, their debut single Swings & Waterslides climbed up the iTunes Chart to number four.

The family of Mr Dakin paid tribute to their "beautiful loving son" who they said will live on through his music.

His mother Joanne Dakin said: "Jack meant everything to his family and was a beautiful loving son.

"Only 19 years old, he was in the prime of his life and enjoying doing something he really wanted to do. He loved drumming and being with the band and Craig. It was all that he ever wanted.

"He was looking forward to living the life that many people just dream of - touring the world in a rock'n'roll band and releasing records."

She added: "He never had to deal with the drudgery of the nine to five slog, no mortgage to worry about ... instead he died, having just played his first ever European show, living his dream. He will live on through his music."