Remembering Viola Beach

It is difficult to hear ‘Swings and Waterslides’ with the same youthful joviality as the first time I heard it. The lyrics ‘I need you home’ striking grief amongst family and fans, the initial song’s youthful romance transformed by the tragedy.

Viola Beach were a band set to flourish with a flurry of festival dates and a support slot alongside Blossoms. With an epic potential the news that Viola Beach and their tour manager Craig Tarry had passed away due to a car crash in Sweden has a heightened sadness.

As a band they were so deserving of the platforms that were beginning to open up to them. The summery melodies laced with lyrics of girls and the future, ‘She said that together we would take on the world, and she told me I’d never find another girl like her’, the innocence of ’She told me that she loves a boy who knows how to sing so I learned how to sing’. Viola Beach released music so relatable to our generation. The feeling of being young and in love, confused by love, excited for what is ahead, acting ‘like a fool’ and making mistakes. Creating music that felt relevant to us. The ability to establish such a connection between themselves and a listener is a quality that set them apart from other indie bands on the cusp of success.

In a tribute to the band there is a campaign to get their song ‘Swings and Waterslides’ to number one. With support from The Stone Roses and Tim Burgess of The Charlatans there is a sense of melancholy to the campaign. To be recognised by such inspirational artists but through such tragedy. Did they dream of gaining the recognition of such musical idols? They have now achieved it.

Blossoms have made their own tribute to Viola Beach at the tour that would have seen the two band perform on the same bill, stating on twitter that ‘’On every date of the tour they were due to join us on, we will mark their slot by playing a full audio recording of their set that was recorded from the Leamington Spa show’’. They went on to encourage fans to come along and ‘’celebrate their lives with an outpouring of love: Dance, drink and sing along’’.

“With an epic potential the news that Viola Beach and their tour manager Craig Tarry had passed away due to a car crash in Sweden has a heightened sadness”

Perhaps this sums up how we should react to what has happened. Their music was about enjoying being young, declaring emotion and taking on life with ferocity. Their outlook on life is one we should all embody. Live your life to the full. You can hear this in their music and if this can live on through their fans then they have achieved surely what their music was always meant to achieve. The deaths of Viola Beach show that we can’t know what will happen to us but that means all the more we should seize opportunities, be with our friends and take full advantage of how amazing it is to be in our generation and where we are right now.

Meg Long 

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