FOUR members of a British indie band due to play a sold-out gig at The Bullingdon on Saturday have died in a tragic car crash in Sweden.

The Foreign Office said five British nationals died in the crash on Saturday when a car plunged from a highway bridge more than 80ft into a canal.

The four members of indie band Viola Beach Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin, and their manager Craig Tarry died.

The band, from Warrington, in Cheshire, was due to play at Cowley Road bar The Bullingdon on Saturday in a sold-out gig.

The five men, aged between 20 and 35, were killed after their vehicle went through the barrier of a bridge which had opened to let a boat pass underneath.

Police said the victims were identified from their passports after the crash at Sodertalje, 18 miles from the capital Stockholm on Saturday.

Tributes from the world of music have been paid to the group, who played the Swedish music festival Where is the Music? on Friday.

The fourpiece released their debut single Swings and Waterslides last year and had featured on BBC Introducing, which showcases up-and-coming music artists.

James Walsh, lead singer of Starsailor, said: “Very sad to hear the awful news about Warrington’s Viola Beach and their manager. Lives and music tragically cut short in their prime.”

Swedish police, who are working with the Foreign Office global response centre, said officers were called to the incident at about 2.30am and divers recovered the bodies of the victims.

The bridge, at the Saltskogs junction between the E4 and the E20 motorways, has a middle section that rises directly upwards without tilting, leaving a gap that the Nissan Qashqai drove into.

A barrier, 50m before the opening, has flashing lights and signs warning there is a bridge opening, the officer handling the case said.

Inspector Martin Bergholm said: “For some reason, the car drove through the barriers and crashed down into the canal.”

Other drivers were waiting behind the barrier but it is not yet known whether a boat had already passed or was waiting to pass.

Mr Bergholm added: “The witnesses just saw a car beside them and kind of disappear.”

He said the case would be transferred to a specialist traffic incident team tomorrow.

Dates for the postmortem examination have not yet been confirmed.

Tributes were also paid to Mr Tarry, who was described as a “man of unshakeable optimism” and a passionate Manchester City football club fan.

A musician who played at the same gig in Sweden as Viola Beach said Mr Tarry had not been drinking at the event because he was driving.

John Olsson, from Swedish band Psykofant, paid tribute to the young British group who were playing their first event outside the UK.

The 22-year-old said: "I was standing in the audience thinking I will be able to say I hung around with Viola Beach before they made it big."