BIRCHWOOD band Sweet Release will play a free gig at The Lounge on Friday.

It will be the first gig of the year for the Springfield Street venue which has become synonymous with Viola Beach.

The Lounge was where songwriter Kris Leonard, bassist Tom Lowe and drummer Jack Dakin worked on and off when they were chasing their dreams of making it in the music industry.

It was also a focal point for hundreds of tributes to Kris, Jack, Tom, River Reeves and manager Craig Tarry after the tragic crash in Sweden last February.

The Lounge reopened as a music venue in the band’s memory in July. Indie rock quartet Sweet Release will be on stage at 9pm on Friday.

They have just finished recording a new EP with Sony Award-winner Shaun Lowe at Prism Studios in Stoke. It is expected to be released at the end of February.

Frontman Josh Jefferson, bassist Kevin, lead guitarist Nathan Bleasdale and drummer Shaun Clutt all went to Birchwood High School.

But it was not until the summer of 2015 that they formed Sweet Release, named after a line in an unreleased demo by Oasis called See The Sun.