PSYCHEDELIC rock band Psyblings were among Viola Beach's closest friends.

Frontman Greg Dixon went to St Gregory's RC High School with Viola Beach drummer Jack Dakin.

Dan Coleman and Jordan Lythgoe, from Psyblings, were also in a band with Viola Beach frontman Kris Leonard called Attic.

So the five-piece said they were 'crushed' when Kris, Jack, Tom Lowe, River Reeves and their Woolston manager Craig Tarry died when their car plummeted off a canal bridge near Stockholm.

Psyblings were due to a play a homecoming gig with Viola Beach at the Pyramid in March and they were rehearsing for the show when they heard.

Greg, a former St Benedict's RC Primary School pupil, said: "At first we all thought it was some horrible joke or something somewhere had been miscommunicated.

"With all the buzz around them and with us being close friends of theirs it didn’t make sense. It still doesn’t make sense.

"It’s still sinking in two months later so you can imagine how crushed we were at the time.

"It was one of the most surreal, crushing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Gutted is an understatement.

"We’d just started working with Craig as well. We met him at a gig at the Castle in Manchester in December.

"He wanted to help us on the back of the momentum that Viola Beach were getting. He wasn’t looking for thanks or praise. He just wanted bands from Warrington to make it."

Psyblings will be playing at Viola Beach: A Celebration on Saturday.

Greg added: "It’s a tribute to the guys and anybody who knew them will know that the best way to pay tribute will be to have a really big, really loud, really lovely night.

"It will be a continuation of all the support and unity that this town has brought together after the terrible event.

"The way people have held each other up has been amazing and I think it’s going to culminate that night.

"It’s going to be a great night as you’ve got some of the band’s heroes as well as those who have worked with them and their friends like us."

Greg, who is also in Warrington band The God Complex, told Weekend that it was the escapism in Viola Beach's music which made them stand out.

The 21-year-old said: "A lot of other bands at the minute are holding a mirror up to society or singing pretty empty love songs. But Kris’s songs made you feel like you could smile.

"Their music was very different. It brought together a lot of different styles and then added that feeling of hope and that something good was out there to achieve."

Psyblings formed in November 2015 inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Doors and psychedelic bands like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and The Wytches.