VIOLA Beach were going to be stars.

It is a phrase often overused to describe bands starting out but with Warrington's indie-pop four-piece it was just a matter of time.

Chances are you may have not heard of the band before today's tragic event but you would have done given half a chance.

Viola Beach were making such waves in the music scene that they were able to announce a hometown Parr Hall headline show just weeks after selling out their Pyramid gig which would have taken place next month.

They were due to play at the South By South West festival in Texas and played a gig for Where's The Music? festival in Norrkoping, Sweden, two days before the devastating crash.

I used to liken Viola Beach to Courteeners who now play on some of UK's biggest stages.

Both bands gathered support fast on a grassroots level and I think Viola Beach would have been considered in the same regard as Courteeners, who they recently supported, given time.

Communion Records founder and Mumford and Sons producer Ian Grimble had absolute faith in them.

Viola Beach were launching Grimble's Communion Singles Club with their track, Boys That Sing.

And even Kick-Ass and Hugo actor Chloë Grace Moretz was among their fans.

It was also the band's cheeky charm which saw them win listeners over.

Frontman and former cleaner Kris Leonard sent a track to BBC Introducing while in Warrington Guardian's office toilets.

They had been championed by the BBC since with their debut single, Swings and Waterslides, appearing on the likes of Formula One.

As the Guardian's music and entertainment correspondent, I was just as excited as anyone else about all this.

Former Lymm High School pupil Kris, drummer Jack Dakin, bassist Tom Lowe and guitarist River Reeves, who made up the band, were due to come in for a photo shoot on Tuesday with their Woolston manager Craig Tarry.








I was also due to join them for a behind the scenes piece when they prepared for their Pyramid gig.

So, like so many others, I am saddened and in shock by all these lives cut short and a great talent blotted out.

I still cannot quite believe it and so I cannot even imagine what it must be like for Kris, Jack, Tom, River and Craig's family and friends. My thoughts go out to all of them. 

Viola Beach formed in May 2015 when Kris bumped into Jack at Warrington bus station.

The pair both went to Bradshaw Primary School in Grappenhall but had lost touch.

Kris met guitarist River on a music course at Priestley College and met bassist Tom at The Lounge in Springfield Street.

All we can do now is remember them for what they did and who they were - friends on a great adventure.