Today sees the release of Viola Beach’s album. It’s not the debut album the band would have made, but instead a document of the songs they had recorded before they were killed in a car accident. I’ve already written about how just a couple of days before their deaths they had been confirmed for Dials Days, a small one-day festival in Portsmouth that I helped book. When I heard the news about the accident it stunned me as much, possibly more than Bowie, Prince etc. Why? Because Viola Beach seemed so much more real in my life; they were going to play an event I was helping with, and as a new music blogger I could relate to them as another young band that like many before (and many that will follow after) was pushing forward with bright hopes, golden dreams, ambitions and glorious expectations. They were doing it the old fashioned way - getting out there, playing live, and building a fan base.
Music can be many things. It can be a comfort, a way of connecting people, a way to forget the world. But it can also be something much more simple. It can be something to put a smile on your face. Leading up to the release of the Viola Beach album today I’ve read several pieces that have suggested that rather than listen to this album and dwell on the brutal tragedy, we should smile; because Viola Beach wrote music to make people feel happy. For me, this is perfect. There’s so much crap, so much sadness going on in the world, so many people being angry, casting negative judgements on people that they don’t even know, that sometimes it seems that we’ve forgotten that we’re all only here for a certain length of time and that we should be trying to get as much out of our short time on planet earth. Sure, it’s not always easy but we should at least try.
I’m lucky, I’ve already lived a lot longer than Viola Beach. I’m absolutely going to enjoy the music the band left, smile and celebrate. I hope you will to.
To mark the posthumous release of the album an animated video for lead single Boys That Sing has been revealed today. It's streaming below.
RIP Kris, River, Tomas and Jack and their manager Craig. You will be missed not only by your family and friends, but music fans who didn't even know you.
Viola Beach - Boys That Sing (Video)