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Friends of Viola Beach release a charity cover of ‘Swings And Waterslides’

In a beautiful tribute; today, friends of Viola Beach release a brand new charity cover of the band’s single ‘Swings & Waterslides’ to mark and commemorate the fifth anniversary of the bands death.

Embarking on their musical journey in 2015 with a brand new line up, and the release of their debut single Swings And Waterslides, Warrington based indie-rock quartet Viola Beach were set to be the next big thing on the UK music scene. Rapidly garnering attention and acclaim, and set to deliver their debut self-titled album the following year; sadly, on 13th February 2016 while travelling through Sweden, their lives were tragically cut short by a car accident. Now, five years on from their tragic deaths, a community of talented musicians from Warrington have come together to record a cover of their 2015 single Swings And Waterslides as a fitting homage and tribute to the band. Out today, the single will be available on all streaming and downloadable platforms, with all proceeds from the cover going to charities chosen by the families of Viola Beach.

A beautiful rendition of the song, the cover very much keeps the spirit and energy of the original track alive; maintaining the same uplifting joyous tones and buoyant atmosphere. Opening the track is the vibrant and infectious indie-led guitar instrumental that runs throughout, before the captivating vocals – reminiscent of lead singer Kris Leonard’s – kick in. With a variety of vocals running throughout, they blend together in flawless harmony, and bring a new voice to the lyrics of the band’s poignant debut track; a heartfelt and perfect way to honour the band and keep their memory alive. 

Talking about the single; Lee Harman of [WAM] Magazine, who organized the project, has said: 

​“Viola Beach left their own legacy despite their short time together. They were the first of a new wave of bands who were proud to be from Warrington, and all the artists involved are honoured to be involved. We should have seen Viola Beach headlining the biggest festivals five years on but despite the pain and sadness getting easier every year, they put Warrington on the map, and we want to show they’re still an important part of the town’s culture.

Kris [Leonard], Jack [Dakin], Tom [Lowe] and River [Reeves] have such an important part to play in keeping the Warrington Music [WAM] website active as I had all but stepped away from the blog but their tragic passing galvanised the towns scene and myself. I felt it was important to cover as much as I could about everything that was happening in the days and weeks after their tragic accident”.

A truly beautiful and moving tribute to an incredible and talented band, this is a captivating single filled with heart, soul, and an addictive pop-led beat that perfectly captures the essence of the original song. And in memory of Viola Beach, make sure to give the rest of their discography a listen and check out the wonderful collection of music they made.  

With many wonderful contributions to this beautiful project, here are some additional thoughts from those involved. 

Sound Engineer to the band for six months, and now working with Blossoms who had Viola Beach as their tour support, Cal Bate said:

“Viola Beach are a huge part of my life, the big stepping stone to my whole career. So to be able to produce a version of one of their songs with amazing musicians from Warrington meant the world to me. I was lucky enough to hear their songs and mix them a lot whilst working with them and they were always songs which you could tell they wrote for people to dance and love forever. The boys’ legacy will live on forever and they left us some beautiful music. They will never be forgotten and they are everything to Warrington and its music scene.”

Olly Thornton contributed vocals to the track, having shared bands with Kris Leonard in their formative years, and said:

“I’m really excited to be a part of something so special! This is a lovely way to remember the lads and Craig. I grew up with Kris, we were inseparable for the best part of our younger life, [and] to be asked to do something like this and to represent the teenage musical beginnings of Kris’ life makes me very proud!”

Jessica Luise, who also performed vocals on the track, was able to fund the recording of her most recent single thanks to a bursary from the River Reeves Foundation – a charity set up by River’s family to provide funding to musicians from the local area – and said of the single:

“I started working with the Rivers Reeves Foundation around a year ago, I love everything they stand for and think that what they do for musicians is wonderful, I never knew the lads personally but getting to experience the legacy they have left behind is amazing. It’s been an absolute privilege to be involved in this project and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

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