Viola Beach, 24h Special

Viola Beach 24h Special

Jungle Indie Rock’s tribute to Viola Beach, an emerging band that reached our top 10 on September 25th, 2015, sharing that possition with bands like DIIV, The Libertines, The Arcs, and New Order.

This article is a compilation of a 24h series of posts published on Sunday February 21st, 2016 in our Tumblr. Each section is numbered and a link to the original post at Tumblr has been included. Those links show the notes and comments of our readers. These readers were already familiar with the band, as they are the same ones that put Viola Beach’s first single in Jungle Indie Rock’s weekly Top 10.

 The Band (1/12)

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Viola Beach was an indie rock band from Warrington, UK, formed in mid-2013. The band debuted in 2015 with their first single Swings & Waterslides, self-released on their own label, Fuller Beans. The song received critical acclaim at BBC Radio 1, that included it in their playlist in September.

Viola Beach played Reading and Leeds Festivals 2015, at the BBC Introducing Stage. The second single, “Boys That Sing”/”Like a Fool“, was released on January 2016, via Communion. The band was emerging when they had a terrible car accident in Södertälje, Sweden, on 13 February 2016.  All four died, along with their manager Craig Tarry.

Band Members

  • Kris Leonard (guitar and vocals)
  • River Reeves (guitar)
  • Tomas Lowe  (bass)
  • Jack Dakin (drums)

Former members

  • Jonny Gibson (bass. Picture below, on red)
  • Frankie Coulson (guitar. Picture below, very left side)
Viola Beach

Photo by Amp

Links: Soundcloud  |  Bandcamp  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Wikipedia

 Discography (2/12)

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Singles

  • Swings & Waterslides / Cherry Vimto (Fuller Beans Records, August 28th 2015)
  • Boys That Sing / Like a Fool (Communion, January 22nd, 2016)

Unreleased songs

  • Get To Dancing
  • All Week
  • Call You Up
  • Daisies
  • Love My Love
  • Pretty Girls
  • All Your Friends
  • Out To Sea

   Their debut single (3/12)

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Viola Beach – Swings & Waterslides

Viola Beach first single was released on their own label, Fuller Beans Records,  August 28th 2015. The song, recorded at Catalyst Studios, and produced by Sugar House , was premiere dat The Music Ninja. A limited (50 copies) of  a 7″ vynil including side B, “Cherry Vimto” is sold out.

At our small Jungle Indie Rock community, Viola Beach’s song also got in our weekly top 10, on September 25th, 2015, sharing that possition with bands like DIIV, The Libertines, The Arcs, and New Order.

To help the band reach #1 in the UK chart, you can get a copy of the single HERE. All proceeds made from the single will be donated  to the band and Craig’s families.

Lyrics:

Feeling a lighter breeze, the sun it shines on all you see
You squint trying to look at me, can I use your lighter please?
You’re not with me tonight and only you can make it right, you know that we could be
You know that we could be eyes wide, bright light, time flies, feels right
You know that it’d be nice, you know that we could be night time, sky high, eyes like we’ve cried
But we’ve not, and all I wanna know is
Won’t you come home
Won’t you come home
Won’t you come home
Won’t you come home
Cause I need you home

Yeah I need you, oh you know I do
It’s summer all the time with you, you make me feel alright
All Swings and Waterslides and summery and pretty high
I’d like to watch the tide come in and then go out at night with you
You know that we could be, you know that we could be eyes wide, bright light, time flies, feels right
You know that it’d be nice, you know that we could be night time, sky high, eyes like we’ve cried
But we’ve not, and all I wanna know is
Won’t you come home
Won’t you come home
Won’t you come home
Won’t you come home
Cause I need you home
Yeah I need you, oh you know I do
Yeah I need you home
Yeah I need you, oh you know I do

   The Story Behind These Pictures (4/12)

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  • Viola Beach Shower
  • viola beach - swings and waterslides
  • Viola Beach Telephone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viola Beach single’s cover art and promo pictures were taken by photographer Georgia Park, who has been very nice with us, and when asked about the photos and her experience with the band, she wrote these nice words that we are sharing with all of you. Thank you very much, Georgia!

“Firstly I’d like to say what a pleasure it was working with such a creative and humorous group.

The images took in the shower was at Jacks flat. Before I started taking the photos they were all swapping into one another’s socks, Jeans and jumpers. It was the casual look but so funny to see them all asking if they looked good. They would all look good in anything.

It was such great banter between them all and Craig was so chilled and cool to work with. He was a great assistant holding the reflector whist the boys were all cramming into the shower and holing the door shut so the boys didn’t fall out. Let’s just say the whole room was flooded by the time we had finished but it was well worth it.

They knew they wanted to use the colour umbrella and they wanted it on the phone box. It was straight out the shower to walking down the road with the umbrella up, dripping wet and still laughing and joking. They lit a cigaret and shared it round whilst we walked to the phone box. Everyone was watching and I felt full excitement! Watching them try and climb the phone box was hysterical.

They were trying to figure out who was going where and how they were going to get up. Tom and Jack were the lifters and Kris and River giggled their way up. They didn’t want me telling the how to pose and I didn’t need to, they knew how to work the camera.

After that, they all went back to to get changed into some warmer clothes. They had organised for all their friends to come and meet at the Lounge to have a beer and then go to a place where they had found for all of us to chuck water balloons at them.

All the way I was snapping away and loving every minute of it. The sun was shining and everyone was smiling, talking and joking around. They had filled two metal buckets up full of water balloons which some had green food colouring in haha the balloons were handed out and the boys were giggling to one another, getting ready to be soaked again. We all counted down and the water explosion started.

What a great day it was and it was the funniest, fulfilling photo shoot to have and will ever do.

Thank you for letting me have the privilege of photographing you boys and thank you Craig for making me feel confident in my work and being so kind and making everything happen. “

 – Georgia Park, photographer


  First Single’s Videos (5/12)

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Their first single, Swings & Waterslides, filmed in January, by Reggie London. Watch two live performances:

  1. Maida Vale Session for BBC Music Introducing, Nov 2015.
  2. Sofar Session, Oct 2015 (Semi-acoustic).

  The B-side: Cherry Vimto (6/12)

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Cherry Vimto is the B-side of Viola Beach’s first single, released on their own label, Fuller Beans Records,  August 28th 2015.

Lyrics:

Don’t you know how hard
Don’t you know how hard I’ve tried to leave you behind?
But there’s a new story every time I look in your eyes
And that’s hard to find, I hope that you might

Stay with me tonight

If you’re out for the night
Baby, that’s alright, I won’t put up a fight
Just know that I would like you to be mine
Though you think that’d be nice, i hope that you might

Stay with me
You’re bittersweet
Or something in between
Stay with me

Won’t you stay for the night?
You know that I like to bide my time
Maybe we could try, I think that we might
Be something you like, I hope that you’d like

To stay with me
You’re bittersweet
Or something in between
Stay with me

Don’t you know how hard
Don’t you know how hard I’ve tried to leave you behind?
But there’s a new story every time I look in your eyes
And that’s hard to find, I hope that you might

Stay with me
You’re bittersweet
Or something in between
Stay with me

Stay with me
You’re bittersweet
Or something in between
Stay with me

  The Second Single: Boys that sing (7/12)

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Viola beach second single was released via Communion, on January 22nd, 2016. The single included tracks “Boys That Sing” (side-A), and “Like A Fool” (side-B).

Lyrics:

She’s a rhino, she’s a wino
She’s a tightrope, we’ll be fine though
Singing woah-oh-oh-oh, what do they know?

She’s a libra, and I need her
The monalisa, would wanna be her
Singing woah-oh-oh-oh

And she said that together we could take on the world
And she told me that I’ll never find another girl like her

She’s in Lycra, I don’t like her
She’s a tiger, but not as violent
Singing woah-oh-oh-oh, what do they know

She’s a weirdo, and a little
She’s a beer girl, and she’s cheerful
Singing woah-oh-oh-oh, what do they know

And she said that together we can take on the world
And she told me that I’d never find another girl like her
And she said that together we could do anything
And she told me that she loves a boy who knows how to sing, so I learnt how to sing

She’s a rhino, she’s a wino
She’s a tightrope, we’ll be fine though

And she said that together we can take on the world
And she told me that I’d never find another girl like her
And she said that together we could do anything
And she told me that she loves a boy who knows how to sing, so I learnt how to sing

Watch the band performing the first song, “Boys That sing” live for Maida Vale Session at BBC Introducing.

  Second single B-side: Like A Fool (8/12)

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Viola Beach perform Like a Fool in session at Maida Vale for BBC Music Introducing.

Lyrics:

I know that when you fall asleep at night
You’re dreaming dreaming of a better life
While I’m dreaming dreams of sleeping by your side
I guess I never really got you right

You know that when it’s just me and you
I love it loving all the things you do
But I know you play me like a fool
What if baby what if I told you

That I don’t need your love
Tell me that’s enough

I know that when you lie awake at night
You’re probably wishing you were tired right
I’m wishing I wasn’t to waste your time
I guess I never really got you right

I’m hoping maybe I can find you do
Like hoping maybe I was loving you
Well I know I’m loving you like a fool
What if baby what if that weren’t true

Yeah I don’t need your love
Tell me that’s enough
To make you need my love
Babe I’ll call your bluff

Yeah I don’t need your love
Tell me that’s enough

  Their References (9/12)

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Viola Beach & Hidden Charms

When reading Viola Beach interviews, there is always these recurrent questions, what are your influences?, what do you listen to? Questions which answers are focused on the importance of innovation and being inspired from those little things that you are not going to find by listening to other artists.

“It’s never wrong to get inspired by someone, but there’s a fine line between being inspired by someone and copying them” (*1). –Viola Beach

Despite these words, many band names can be found in their answers too, and all of them have a common point: they are bands that were around them. Viola Beach enjoyed the friendship made on stage or touring, from those other artists which they interact. They always had a word for all of them, and a certain admiration can be read between lines. Bands like Blossoms (tour partners), Hidden Charms (same manager), Eliza and The Bear (same producer and tour mates) are mentioned (*2).

Viola Beach was very sensible to what was around them, and they got perhaps influenced by those “little bands” that bring something.

When asked about artists in Liverpool (*3) (one of the the big cities near their home town, Warrington) Viola Beach mentions goes to The Beatles (the band has played at The Cavern Club), The Coral, The Zutons, Hooton Tennis Club, Clean Cut Kid, The Vryll Society, and once again, their mates, Blossoms.

Blossoms

Blossoms

Nevertheless, and although they mentioned other names like Arctic Monkeys, and The Kooks (*4), there was a band and a decade that have really marked their music tastes and culture. This band is Blur, and the 90’s is the decade. In Pigeons and planes interview, they express their admiration for Blur, and Oasis, and when they are asked about the festival of their dreams headline, we can find these words (*5):

“I’d have to say Blur. I wouldn’t say that you hear them in our music, like I said I try to stay away from doing that, but I saw them once in a ballroom in Blackpool. I could never get bored of watching them. I’ve only seen them once, but that era of ’90s Blur, that would have to be my answer. There’s something very gripping about their songs and their performances that I love. I watch old videos and documentaries and kind of obsess over them. Would have to go with Blur”.Viola Beach

Blur

Blur

Citations

Other Viola Beach interviews:

  • Louder Than War (They explain Viola Beach’s band name)
  • Ellipsis (They explain how they got into BBC Introducing)
  • Wonderland (Music you should listen to, recommended by Viola Beach)

 

  Unreleased song: “All Week” (10/12)

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Kris Leonard of Viola Beach performs an acoustic verssion of their unreleased song “All Week”, for Liverpool Live TV’s Red Sofa Sessions. The video, recorded in 2014, forms part of the LLTv  #onTour series, that were visiting Wirral’s Astral Coast festival. Watch the video here:

 

  Their Daytrotter Session (11/12)

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The session was recorded in October 2015 by Richard Matthews and Anthony Leung at The Crypt Studio, Crouch End, London.  Stream it here 

Set List

  1. Welcome to Daytrotter
  2. Like A Fool
  3. Boys That Sing
  4. Call You Up
  5. Swings And Waterslides

Viola Beach’s Daytrotter Illustration by Johnnie Cluney is based on Georgia Park’s photography of the band in the shower at Jack’s apartment. The story behind this photography has been explained in our 4/12 post.

  Unreleased song: “Get To Dancing” (12/12)

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Viola Beach perform “Get To Dancing” for BBC Introducing at the legendary Maida Vale Studio 3. Recorded November 2015.

And that was all. We finish this Viola Beach special with my favorite song and performance, “Get To Dancing”, where you can see how happy they were playing together. What a great band. You are going to be missed.

River Reeves of Viola Beach

River Reeves (guitar)

jack dakin of viola beach

Jack Dakin (drums)

Tomas Lowe of viola beach

Tomas Lowe (bass)

kris leonard of viola beach

Kris Leonard (guitar and vocals)

…you know tonight I won’t remember, but it is you I won’t forget…

To help the band reach #1 in the UK chart, you can get a copy of their first single HERE.  All proceeds made from the single will be donated  to the band and Craig’s families. Get the single

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