Viola Beach, the band who tragically died in a car crash in Sweden, have reached No 1 with their debut album.
The band’s four members and their manager were killed in February when the car they were in fell from a highway bridge into a canal in Stockholm.
The families and friends of the group released a self-titled collection of nine songs as a tribute to vocalist Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe, drummer Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry.
In a statement, the families said: “The tragedy that ended Craig, Jack, Kris, River and Tom’s lives in Sweden and the pain and sense of loss will never leave us. By sending the Viola Beach album to Number 1 the public have sent out an important message to the world.
“The tragic circumstance that met Viola Beach and their manager Craig that fateful night in Sweden will not now define their lives. What will now define their lives and what they will be remembered for, forever, is the music they were so passionate about making together.”
At the time of the crash, Viola Beach were a rising guitar band steadily building a fanbase. The story of a group who never got the chance to realise their potential touched a nerve with many music fans, including Coldplay, who dedicated a section of their Glastonbury headline slot to them. Chris Martin told the crowd: “We’re going to create Viola Beach’s alternate future for them and let them headline Glastonbury with their song,” before playing Boys That Sing.
Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, said: “It is hard to think of an album more people were rooting for than the Viola Beach release – nor a success which has felt so bittersweet. We’re delighted that it has taken the No 1 spot, but it is an awful tragedy that Jack, Kris, River, Tomas and Craig are not here to see themselves take a place in the annals of British music.”
This article was written by Tim Jonze, for theguardian.com on Friday 5th August 2016 18.00 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010