Entertainment & Arts

Viola Beach claim posthumous number one album

Viola Beach
Image caption Viola Beach were killed in a car crash as they travelled back from a festival in Sweden

Indie band Viola Beach have scored a number one album, six months after they were killed in a car crash.

The self-titled debut was compiled by the band's families, using live sessions and studio recordings, many of which were originally bound for an EP.

It outsold the number two album, ELO's All Over The World, The Very Best Of, by about 6,000 copies, said the Official Chart Company.

"I'm in shock," said Finn Reeves, whose brother River was the band's guitarist.

"I think they'd be absolutely thrilled. I can see the smiles on their faces.

"They made this happen. They did the hard work."

Viola Beach consisted of singer Kris Leonard, guitarist River, bassist Tomas Lowe and drummer Jack Dakin.

All four members of the Warrington band and their manager Craig Tarry died when their car plunged into a canal in Sweden in February.

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Media caption"They are with us today" - relatives of Viola Beach react to news their album is number one in the album chart

The families of the band 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.

"For that, we will be eternally humbled and ever thankful to every single person who, by buying this glorious album, has invested in their lasting musical legacy."

Viola Beach had been championed by BBC Introducing, who invited them to play the Reading and Leeds festivals last year.

The young band's first single Swings & Waterslides reached number 11 in the wake of the tragedy, while Coldplay paid tribute by performing their song Boys That Sing at Glastonbury, hinting at what the future might have held.

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Media captionViola Beach play Swings & Waterslides in session for BBC Introducing

'Legacy lives on'

"They were just so talented and they had so much going for them," said Loren Dakin, elder sister of drummer Jack.

"If they would have come home from this, it would have just snowballed from there. They would have made it."

She said listening to the album took her back to the pubs and clubs where she watched Viola Beach play as they started to gain a foothold in the music industry.

"It's very sad - but it's also beautiful," she said. "I can hear my brother drumming, I can hear Chris singing. It's like their legacy lives on.

"Sometimes I am quite destructive with the music, because I'll listen to it when I'm sad and it'll make me feel worse.

"But a lot of times I'll listen to it with friends or when I'm in an upbeat mood and it's beautiful. It's great music and they wanted everyone to hear it."

Top five albums
1) Viola Beach Viola Beach
2) ELO All Over The World - The Very Best Of
3) Christine & The Queens Chaleur Humaine
3) Drake Views
4) Adele 25
Top five singles
1) Major Lazer feat Justin Bieber and MØ Cold Water
2) Calum Scott Dancing On My Own
3) Jona Blue feat JP Cooper Perfect Strangers
4) Chainsmokers feat Daya Don't Let Me Down
5) Drake feat Wizkid and Kyla One Dance

Elsewhere in the charts, Miami dance producer DJ Khaled's scores his first top 40 album with Major Key while BBC Sound of 2016 finalist Nao makes her chart debut at 17 with the summery funk of For All We Know.

Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and Danish singer MØ retain the number one spot in the singles chart with their dance track Cold Water, while MØ's own track Final Song becomes her biggest solo hit to date, climbing two places to number 15.

She is not to be confused with British girl band M.O, whose summer anthem Who Do You Think Of? climbs seven places to number 18, giving them their first top 20 hit.

US star Halsey - who rose to fame by parodying Taylor Swift on YouTube - scores her first Top 40 single as a featured artist on The Chainsmokers' Closer, while US band Fifth Harmony are a new entry at 36 with All In My Head (Flex).

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