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UK band killed in Sweden reach iTunes number one

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UK band killed in Sweden reach iTunes number one
The band who died last weekend. Photo: Viola Beach/Facebook
10:25 CET+01:00
Viola Beach, the British band killed when their car plunged into a canal south of Stockholm last weekend, have made number one in the UK's iTunes chart following a social media campaign backed by a host of celebrities.

Oasis star Liam Gallagher, Tim Burgess from fellow Britpop band The Charlatans and Manchester City Football Club were among the big names that urged indie music fans to buy Viola Beach's single 'Swings and Waterslides' this week and on Thursday the band briefly made it to number one in the iTunes chart in the UK as well as number three in Sweden's Viral Top 50 on Spotify.

Kris Leonard, 20, River Reeves, 19, Jack Dakin, 19, Tomas Lowe, 27, and their manager Craig Tarry, 33, all died after their car ended up in a canal in Södertälje, near Stockholm on Saturday.

Their families and fans first launched the campaign to get them to the top spot in the UK singles chart before it was picked up by celebrities on social media.

UK newspapers reported that the group's supporters reached their goal at 4.15pm on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. However they were swiftly overtaken by Danish band Lukas Graham's track '7 years', who remained at number one on Friday morning.

Nevertheless, campaigners posted a message on the Facebook group 'Get VB to No.1'  celebrating the news.

"WE HAVE DONE IT ON ITUNES!!! Well done everyone "Swings and Waterslides" is now number one on ITunes, Spotify Viral, Amazon, and hopefully come tomorrow night The UK Official Charts," read the text.

The UK's Official Singles Chart is the core benchmark for bands seeking a formal place in the record books, and Viola Beach's supporters are set to find out on Friday night if they have reached their goal.

In Sweden, the band are currently the highest placing non-Swedish act on Spotify's Viral Top 50, which looks at the most-shared tracks in the country. As well as coming third with 'Swings and Waterslides', their song 'Boys that Sing' is in fourth place while 'Like a Fool' is ranked 33rd.

However none of Viola Beach's tracks featured in the top 50 in the country's main music chart.

A screenshot from iTunes on Friday morning

Meanwhile investigations are continuing in Sweden into what exactly caused the band to crash into the canal while they were driving to Stockholm's Arlanda airport from their first foreign gig in Norrköping.

Earlier this week British tabloid The Sun reported that a pair of amber flashing signal lights ahead of the the bridge weren't working at the time it opened for an oil tanker to pass, just as the band approached.

However a spokesperson from road authority Trafikverket told The Local those reports were incorrect.

"They have the wrong information. This was an old light which isn't supposed to function. It hasn't been working for three years," said Joachim Jakobsson, who is responsible for Stockholm bridge openings.

"We've put up a new sign with lights, which is working, approximately 900 metres from the bridge opening."

Police have spent this week checking the band's car for clues and speaking to witnesses.

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