TRIBUTES are flooding in from shocked fans of Warrington band Viola Beach, who were killed in a crash in Sweden.
Swedish Police say five people were killed when their car plunged more than 82ft from a highway bridge into a canal in the capital of Stockholm in the early hours of Saturday.
Investigations are continuing into the cause of the accident, but it is believed the car smashed into a road barrier before hitting the water.
Divers have recovered the bodies of five men, reported to be members of Viola Beach and their manager Craig Tarry.
The band members were Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin.
The up-and-coming indie pop band were playing a gig in Sweden, but were just weeks away from playing a homecoming gig at Warrington’s at the Pyramid on March 12, and had also announced plans to play their biggest home town show at the Parr Hall on October 1.
They were due to play at the Boiler Room in Guildford last night with fellow band Blossoms, but the gig was subsquently cancelled.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We can confirm that five British nationals died in a car accident in Sweden on February 13.
"We are in contact with local authorities and supporting the families at this difficult time."
Viola Beach have become one of the fastest growing bands on the music scene after frontman and former cleaner Kris Leonard sent a track to BBC Introducing while in Warrington Guardian's office toilets.
Last year they appeared at the prestigious Reading and Leeds festivals.
The four-piece have gone on to tour with the Courteeners and work with Communion Records founder and Mumford and Sons producer Ian Grimble.
Kris, a former Lymm High School pupil, said at the time of the announcement: "We're very honoured to be announcing a show at the Parr Hall as our second hometown show.”
The uncle of Kris has paid tribute to the ‘young and gifted’ musicians in an emotional post.
Posting on Facebook, Tony Leonard wrote: “Heard the terrible news that my brilliantly talented nephew, Kris Leonard, and his band, Viola Beach, and their manager tragically died in a car accident in Sweden on Saturday.
“They were so young & gifted and were going to achieve so much! My thoughts are with my brother Robbie and his family through the tough times ahead. X”
Leanne Williams, who used to work with Kris, added: "I'm in total shock, when we worked with Kris at the Guardian he constantly had his eyes on his phone downloading music.
"They were going to be big one day.
"He was such a sweet, lovely lad and very likeable, he will be sadly missed by all who knew him."
Viola Beach's record label, Communion Records, has said that all funds from the band's second single, Boys That Sing, will be donated to their families and manager Craig Tarry's family.
Ian Grimble, Communion Records founder and Mumford and Sons producer, said: "I first became aware of Viola Beach through their single, Swings and Waterslides, and was very taken by the energy and vibrancy that jumped out of the speakers.
"Upon meeting them for the first time, along with Craig, I could soon see why, their exuberance and determination to scream out to the world was overwhelming.
"This combined with undoubted talent and an incredible work ethic for ones so young made every long hour in the studio from then on very rewarding indeed.
"It is with great sadness that we will not be able to see them grow from the spark that they are now, into the raging fire that they so desperately desired to become.
"They were a young band who wrote about what they knew, a legacy for new young bands I hope."
Mark Bennett, from United Talent agency, added: "From your first gig to your last and many in between I was so lucky to be there and I will be forever grateful for you lightning up my life with your infectious, beautiful and joyful behaviour.
"Craig Tarry could be seen at every gig, head bobbing and just simply and purely loving the music.
"I must of called him more than anyone in the last six months, even Thursday we must of spoke eight or nine times.
"You started as a colleague and you ended as a good mate. I will miss you dearly."
Conrad Murray, from Viola Beach's promoter SJM Concerts, said: "We are devastated by the tragic loss of the lives of Craig, Jack, Kris, Tom and River.
"They were a truly talented bunch of young men on the cusp of something very special and it was always a pleasure and a genuine thrill to be in their presence."
Psykofant band member John Olsson, 22, performed at the music festival Where's the Music in Norrkoping in Sweden on Friday night and shared a dressing room with Viola Beach. He said: "They were extremely charming and their manager was super nice.
"I sat and talked with him for a while.
"We talked about their home town Warrington.
"They were very funny, they were like a parody of what a British pop band is. "They fell in there with broad dialect and they were charmingly clumsy.
"They were super talented."
John added their performance that night was 'amazing'.
He said: "They really meant what they did. "This was their thing, it felt that they were close to break through. "They were very into their music and extremely professional."
Warrington Guardian readers have paid tribute to the band on our Facebook page.
Claire Crossley posted: "Can't believe the news, absolutely devastated this morning to hear what has happened to a fantastic up and coming band.
"My son Jordan used to play in Kris's band The Vox a few years ago and they often practised at our house. Feel so sick at what has happened. RIP"
Lisa Pearson Hesketh wrote: "In absolute shock, lived next door to Jack for threee years such a lovely lad. RIP jack, thoughts go out to his family at this awful time."
Angela Ditchfield posted: "So very sad, my deepest condolences to all the families. My daughter went primary school with River and he was a lovely boy."
Christine Daniels added: "This has made me feel so sick, knew Kris from a small boy. My heart goes out to his mum and dad.....no words."
Viola Beach has been trending on Twitter for several hours as fans pay tribute to the band.
The Warrington Guardian is now calling on readers to help get Viola Beach into the charts. Click here for more details.
So sorry to hear the news about Viola Beach and their manager. The saddest news. Thinking of all their families at this awful time.
— Huw Stephens (@huwstephens) February 14, 2016
Very sad to hear the awful news about Warrington's Viola Beach and their manager. Lives and music tragically cut short in their prime.
— James Walsh (@jamesstarsailor) February 14, 2016
Really sad to hear the news about Viola Beach. As a musician and as a dad. My thoughts & love to all their families & friends xxx
— Clint Boon (@therealboon) February 14, 2016
Such unfathomable news about Viola Beach - a hugely talented young band at the start of their career. My heart goes out to their families.
— Annie Mac (@AnnieMac) February 14, 2016
Heart breaking news about @Viola_Beach. watched them soundcheck in December with us, They were destined for big things. Can't believe it.
— Liam Fray (@What_Liam_Said) February 14, 2016
Completely speechless. Not just a band on the cusp of something great but young lads with their whole lives ahead. RIP Craig and Viola Beach
— Phil Taggart (@philytaggart) February 14, 2016