The posthumous debut album by British band Viola Beach has hit number one.

The band’s four members and their manager were killed in a car crash in Sweden in February when the car they were driving fell into a canal.

A self-titled collection of nine tracks was compiled by the families and friends of singer Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe, drummer Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry. The Official Chart Company announced that Viola Beach outsold the number two album, ELO’s All Over The World, The Very Best Of, by about 6,000 copies.

In a statement, the families said: “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.”

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.”

The Warrington band had featured on BBC Introducing, a radio showcase for up-and-coming artists, and were in Sweden to play Where is the Music? festival when their car plunged 25 metres off a bridge into a canal outside Stockholm.

The band’s first single ‘Swings & Waterslides’ reached number 11 in the wake of the tragedy. Coldplay paid tribute during their Glastonbury headline slot by performing the Viola Beach song ‘Boys That Sing’. [via BBC News]



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