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The British Music Experience has announced the addition of the Viola Beach drum kit to its collection as a symbol for young people to follow their dreams.
Viola Beach were formed in Warrington, Cheshire, in 2013 with a final line-up consisting of Kris Leonard (guitar and vocals), River Reeves (guitar), Tomas Lowe (bass guitar), and Jack Dakin (drums) and were managed by Craig Tarry.
Viola Beach made beautiful, happy-go-lucky music that was sending shock-waves through the music industry. With their infectious sound and instant likability, the four lads had taken their first steps towards becoming one of the UK’s most exciting prospects on the indie scene. With appearances at places such the world-famous Cavern Club and Reading and Leeds Festival under their belt, before even releasing a single, the bands promise was easy to see.
The band was poised for an explosive year, being considered one of the fastest growing bands on the music scene with numerous gigs booked, including Sound City in Liverpool, a slot at Glastonbury, an appearance organised by the BBC Introducing showcase, as part of the line-up at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas and 2 sellout concerts at the Pyramid and Parr Hall, in their hometown of Warrington, to name but a few.
The band’s future successes were cut short on February 13 2016 when all four band members and their manager tragically died in a car accident following Viola Beach’s appearance at Where’s the Music Festival in Sweden.
Since the tragedy, Jack Dakin, Tomas Lowe, Kris Leonard, River Reeves and manager Craig Tarry, have received plaudits from industry greats such as Liam Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Courteeners and The Zutons, to name but a few.
The bands posthumous self-titled debut album, went on to reach the Official UK Number One spot and Coldplay’s beautiful tribute allowed the band to headline Glastonbury, an achievement many believed the band would eventually have reached themselves.
Jack Dakin’s family recalled, “On the 3rd November 2015, Jack, sister Loren, Bev and his Dad, went ‘Drum Shopping’ at the Manchester Drum Centre in Trafford and Jack tried out every percussion instrument on display, including bongo drums, cow bells and tambourines. Jack fell in love straight away with the classic retro style and sound given from the Gretsch Broadkaster drum kit. On the 11th November, 2015, his Dad, Jack and his friend, returned to the Manchester Drum Centre and they purchased the full kit. The drum kit was custom built in the U.S.A. and unfortunately arrived after the accident.”
The drum kit remains a symbol of the bands love of their craft and a symbol of their pending superstardom.
Head of UNESCO City of Music for Liverpool, Kevin McManus, commented “The tragic and untimely death of Viola Beach and their manager touched every musician and music fan across the country, but no more so than in Warrington and Merseyside. This was the area where they’d played a lot of gigs, had a loyal fan base and where they were already being talked about as a band to watch. The much anticipated show at Sound City would have been their biggest local show to date and who knows what they could have gone on to achieve.
Given the band’s close relationship with Liverpool it is fitting that the Dakin family have chosen to loan Jack’s drum kit to the BME where it now sits alongside exhibits from some of the UK’s most famous names in rock and pop music. At this fabulous museum the drum kit can now be seen by visitors from all around the world, ensuring that the name and music of Viola Beach lives on.”
The Dakin Family hope that by publicly displaying Jack’s drum kit they bring a degree of comfort. They also hope the drum kit inspires future generations to believe that with a lot of hard work, tears, determination, patience, luck and skill that every dream and ambition is a possibility.
Also on display is a painting of Jack by artist Kitsada Jittisak.
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