Blossoms discuss Viola Beach tribute at Reading Festival

The Stockport five-piece shared their fond memories of the band with NME

Blossoms have spoken to NME about why they decided to pay tribute to Viola Beach during their secret set at Reading Festival last week.

The Stockport quintet appeared on stage in the BBC Introducing Tent on Friday (August 26) for an unbilled show before their gig on the NME/BBC Radio 1 tent the following day. During the show, which attracted a huge crowd, singer Tom Ogden declared: “Let’s have a round of applause for Viola Beach”, which was met by a deafening response.

During their interview with NME at the festival over the weekend, Blossoms discussed their tribute to the band, who were killed along with their manager Craig Tarry in a car accident in Sweden on February 13.


“I think it was important to pay tribute to Viola Beach, because they played at this festival on the same stage [BBC Introducing] that we were on yesterday,” Ogden said. “I know there’s tributes going out on the main stage to them, but I think it’s important that everyone at the festival should be paying tribute to them, because they were a great band.”

Blossoms also shared their memories of touring with Viola Beach, describing them as “a fun bunch of lads.”

“They were always up for a laugh, stealing beers from the rider,” they remembered.

“They always stayed behind at the end of gigs, selling their merch and charming people. When you’re a support band, you need to have that kind of worth ethic from the start – and they had that,” Ogden said.

Watch the interview below.


Blossoms appeared at a tribute show to Viola Beach at their hometown venue Warrington Parr Hall in March, where Ogden told BBC: “What happened is unheard of in history, so devastating and shocking. You know they would have been having the time of their lives.”

A self-titled compilation of Viola Beach’s songs was released as a self-titled album in July, reaching No 1, before being replaced at the top spot by Blossoms’ debut album. Viola Beach’s song ‘Boys That Sing’ was covered by Coldplay during their headline slot at Glastonbury in June.