Bands from across the North East have been paying tribute to Viola Beach this week, as well as discussing the risks musicians face when touring.
All four members of indie-pop band Viola Beach were killed after a horrific car accident in Stockholm last week.
Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, Jack Dakin, along with the band’s manager, Craig Tarry, all lost their lives in the crash.
Frankie Francis, from Frankie & The Heartstrings, spoke of how the news affected him: “I was listening to them only a week before their death, I found a link online and listened to their music.
“We have played gigs in Sweden ourselves and also have also travelled by car with our manager there. This really struck home with me when I heard the news.”
Joe Atkinson, from Lisbon, also spoke of his and his band’s devastation: “We’re all truly devastated.
“We were big fans of Viola Beach and their music which we discovered through our friends Eliza and the Bear who we both supported on different tours.
“We’re all deeply upset by the incident. For us and bands doing what we do, we do for the sheer love and enjoyment of the creation and projection of music. It’s vitally important that we keep doing what we’re doing for them.”
The incident has highlighted the dangers of touring, and has caused a lot of bands to think carefully about their own touring methods.
Shields’ drummer, Tom Larthe de Langladure, recalls a time when he pushed himself to the extreme when touring.
“It was a shock to hear,” he said.
He added: “I think this accident highlights some key issues for touring bands. The distances we travel can be absolutely absurd and for little financial reward.
“I personally have driven from Berlin to a town called Wuppertal after a gig where we got in at 4am. It was a six hour drive and to stay awake I was drinking energy drinks most of the way back. It wasn’t safe.”
Mark Dunn, from the Voluntears, says they will now be planning their tours more carefully: “We were supposed to be booked for the same festival (as Viola Beach) this year, so I guess like a lot of fans, we feel slightly cheated.
“I think it’s made a lot of bands think twice, about planning on who, what and where they’ll end up at the end of the tour.
“We sometimes set off for London, Liverpool, Manchester etc. and haven’t really cared where we’ll end up that night, but it’s definitely something we’ll be planning from now on.”
Face The Ocean’s Daniel Rickman, who has only just returned from a tour himself, also says it is emphasised the risks touring bands face: “For us it really brought home the reality of the risks touring artists take on a daily basis to pursue their ambitions, there is always a small chance something like this can happen but when you’re travelling long distances on a daily basis the risk is very real indeed.”
All those interviewed offer their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Viola Beach and their manager.