Rainbow Rising

Rainbow Rising 1998 - 2014

Originally called Perfect Strangers (a Deep Purple Tribute) in 1996 a change of direction was the brainchild of band mates Mark Raggie Slack and Mick Rice. After agreement was reached the band changed the name to Rainbow Rising in 1998. 
The aim was to not only recreate the unique Rainbow sound but to also capture the visual spectacle that was Rainbow live on stage.

 

Mick Rice - Drums

Tony Speakman - Bass Guitar

Roy Chudobskyi - Lead Guitar

Tor Underseth - Keyboard

Mark Raggie Slack - Vocals

Rainbow Rising | Roy Chudobskyi
Rainbow Rising | Roy & Tony
Rainbow Rising | Tor Underseth
Rainbow Rising | Tony Speakman
Rainbow Rising

Rainbow Rising Live at

The Rayners Hotel, Harrow

Saturday 13th September 2003

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When I saw the posters going up for this one at my local pub I couldn't resist going along for a laugh.  To me, the prevalence of tribute bands is a rather worrying trend, but I suppose that there must be a market for it (a flyer I received yesterday for the 'Australian Pink Floyd' has them playing the Royal Albert Hall!!).  Having never seen a tribute band before I had no idea what to expect, but was intrigued to see how they would cope.  Of course, hopes weren't high, after all, how can anybody impersonate the 'Master'.

 

A surprisingly large audience had gathered, most of whom were on the wrong side of thirty (myself included!).  Following Judy Garland's obligatory intro, the power chords to Kill the King thundered through the PA and I must admit to shivers down the spine at hearing this classic performed live again after so many years.  The guitarist 'played' Ritchie Blackmore to perfection and has all of his mannerisms down to a tee, not even acknowledging the audience once during the entire show!  He must have spent hours studying videos: I was stunned to learn afterwards that he has never seen Blackmore perform live.  The rest of the band can best be described as 'sound-likes', rather than 'look-alikes' - the vocalist 'being' Ronnie James Dio (5 foot 4 inches), but he must be over 6 feet tall!

 

As their name implies the band perform mainly Dio-era songs, although they do throw in a smattering of the better known songs from later eras for good measure.  I was surprised that they tackled the songs in a similar vein to the Rising tour, e.g. an extended Catch the Rainbow and a full blown Man on the Silver Mountain with a complete rendition of Starstruck in the middle.  They were certainly not frightened to take on the challenge of the epic and grandiose songs.

 

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did - close your eyes and you could be transported back over twenty-five years and it was worth the entrance money alone just to hear some of the finest rock songs ever written being performed live all over again.  I can only say that they performed the songs superbly and are a highly competent and professional-sounding set of musicians.

 

A lack of time meant that some songs were not included, but they have an extensive repertoire and it's a shame that Gates of Babylon and Light in the Black had to be dropped.

 

I guess that the amount of enjoyment you will derive from this sort of show depends on how you approach it.  Of course, we would all prefer to see Blackmore blasting out these songs in a live environment, but in the absence of that this really is the next best thing. If you are looking to have your musical boundaries extended then this is really not your bag. However, I couldn't help but be carried along on a wave of nostalgia and with the aid of a few beers had a bloody enjoyable evening (and I guess that's what it's all about)!

Barry Sharples - Lead Guitar 2005

Rainbow Rising | Barry Sharples

Mick Rice - Drums

Tony Speakman - Bass Guitar

Barry Sharples  - Lead Guitar

Tor Underseth - Keyboard

Mark Raggie Slack - Vocals

Steve Taylor - Bass Guitar 2007

Rainbow Rising | Steve Taylor

Mick Rice - Drums

Steve Taylor - Bass Guitar

Barry Sharples  - Lead Guitar

Tor Underseth - Keyboard

Mark Raggie Slack - Vocals

Rainbow Rising | Steve Taylor
Rainbow Rising
Rainbow Rising | Mick Rice

Plato, Helmond

The Netherlands May 19, 2007

 

Just after half past nine we got the extended "Over the Rainbow" intro and Rainbow Rising entered the stage. 

There was Raggie in his Ronnie Dio 1976 style trousers with the moon and stars and Barry in his Ritchie Blackmore 1976 style outfit. They kicked off the show with a blistering version of "Kill the King". It was followed by a fine version of "16th Century Greensleeves". The band played the songs excellently.

 

After "I Surrender" it was time for Tor to show his skills. He played the crowd a great intro to "Gates Of Babylon". During the show he proves to be an excellent keyboard player and his keyboards are great in the mix anyway. Not hidden to the back of the sound like Ritchie used to have. The setlist has a good mix of Dio era and later stuff. The sensitive ballad "Stone Cold" is followed by a superb version of "Mistreated". Barry shows off in this one. Great Blackmoresque guitarwork.

 

More Dio era work with "Do You Close Your Eyes" and "Man On The Silver Mountain". Played the other way round than on the setlist. They told me already before they sometimes change the setlist during the concerts. Just depends how they feel and how the audience react. Barry gives Mick cues like Ritchie does to his drummers. 

These guys know the ropes. Mick is a huge Cozy fan and plays like a wild rock'n'roll animal. 

 

Another Rainbow hit follows "Since You Been Gone". Raggie ask the fans to sing along and the place goes wild. There's obviously no time for "All Night Long" which do stand on the setlist so they crash into the last song of the set, the mighty "Stargazer". Great and solidly played, the band gives it all one more time with Raggie screaming the legendary words "I see a rainbow rising".

The band returns for an encore and it's "Long Live Rock'n'Roll", what else? 

 

They give it all one more time, the audience loves it and then it's over. What a fine show. I can only say if you got the chance to see this band, just don't miss it. This band is great entertainment and you get a night of the very best Rainbow songs. 

You've got to have a lot of respect what these blokes deliver on stage.

 

Rainbow Rising played last night their debut show on the continent and it was a killer of a show. If you ever get the chance then go and see this band I can only highly recommend this band!!

 

Great musicians, superb setlist including mainly Dio era material, but also some of the 80's hit stuff and they told me they also add some Doogie era stuff as well. These guys really rock!!! You won't get anything that comes closer than this band.

Rainbow Rising | Barry Sharples
Rainbow Rising | Raggie & Steve
Rainbow Rising | Barry & Tor
Rainbow Rising | Raggie & Baz
Rainbow Rising | Raggie

Peter Hagan - 2009

Rainbow Rising | Peter Hagan

Mick Rice - Drums

Peter Hagan - Bass Guitar

Barry Sharples  - Lead Guitar

Tor Underseth - Keyboard

Mark Raggie Slack - Vocals

Rainbow Rising

Rainbow Rising @ Tavistock Wharf

Saturday 9th March 2013.

By Ellie Hudson

 

Of all the classic rock bands to play The Wharf it’s hard to recall one that left such an indelible mark as Rainbow Rising did the last time they played this venue a few years ago.

For quite some time afterwards they were the band most requested for a return visit. Unfortunately due to outside commitments from various members of the band it has taken a while to get them back and during that time their following locally lost momentum. Which is why although a very enthusiastic loyal and animated crowd turned out for last night’s gig it was by no means the level expected given the massive buzz that followed their last show here. But hey, 150-200 is still a crowd pull that some bands and venues can only dream of!

Rainbow were one of my favourite bands during the 80’s and Rainbow Rising don’t disappoint. As the name implies  (Title of classic album released with Dio as vocalist) the era they dedicate themselves to is firmly in the ‘Ronnie Jame Dio’ camp and in frontman Raggie they have a phenomenally accurate ‘Dio’ incarnate.

So the instantly recognisable background music of Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow kicks in and the lights lower, it’s showtime folks and all the stragglers out in the bar and foyer rush in the direction of the stage and immediately evident is the fact that there are some serious Dio and Rainbow fans in the audience, they’ve dug out original tour tee shirts and wear them with pride.

The band hit the stage with gusto and  fire in their bellies delivering a run of ageless classics in superb form and there are moments throughout the gig where crowd participation confirms why they are so fantastically successful. Mistreated was one such example with Raggie enticing the crowd in singing back to him  ‘Losing…..Losing….Losing my mind!’, and at this stage the crowd were well and truly warmed up and enjoying themselves.

Mistreated is a song that stretches even the most competent vocal range and looking around the faces of many in the audience, they were clearly impressed.

Fans who discovered Rainbow during the more hit laden 80’s weren’t left out either, for aside from superbly performed Tarot Woman, Jealous Lover, 16th Century Greensleeves and Man on a Silver Mountain came the hits of I Surrender (Joe Lyn Turner era))Since You’ve Been Gone and All Night Long (Graham Bonnet era).

Personal highs for me were their stunning and faultless delivery of Catch the Rainbow and Stargazer. Full credit to the entire band and incredible leve of musicianship which absolutely captures and nails the very awesomness that was Rainbow at their best.

When the show was over I overheard in the audience the words  ‘If Ronnie  is looking down on this gig he’d be dead proud!’

Wow, as a compliment there can be none better than that!

By Pat Lucas

Rainbow Rising @ Tavistock
Rainbow Rising @ Tavistock
Rainbow Rising @ Tavistock
Rainbow Rising @ Tavistock
Rainbow Rising @ Tavistock
Rainbow Rising @ Tavistock

Rainbow Rising at the Moses Gate on 27th April 2013

 

I first saw this band at the Witchwood in Ashton a good few years ago and walked away feeling like I'd been transported back to the Manchester Apollo in 1977. They were simply that good. Now in 2013 and my 3rd trip to see them at The Moses Gate I know what I'm in for and have been up for it for weeks. Arriving at the front door after a short trip over from Stockport I'm treated to the band warming up to Light In The Black, it's sounding good, I know it's gonna be a good night.Fosters in hand in the vault the band continues to warm up hammering out Stone Cold, the lady serving rolls her eyes saying they've been warming up for a lifetime, I'm thinking "you lucky bitch", what we don't realise is they have replacements onboard one of which is his first gig with the band and as they travel from all over the Uk this is rehearsals for them.It's nearly time and the only downside is that the head count appears to be low which is a real shame as this band deserve much better. Judy Garland echoes out so abandoning my girlfriend (I really don't deserve her) I take my spot picked weeks ago stage front left.Seeing the bands lineup has changed, I'm a bit worried, no need, the opening chords to Kill The King belt out and were off. The band are pretty tight, balance seems good, vocals on form (Dio would be proud), lead guitar mesmerising, bass nice and deep but what really impressed (right through the gig), the new guys, keys and drums, if you didn't know better you would think they had been together for quite some time.The first set continued with a nice mix, 16th Century Greensleeves, Miss Mistreated, Jealous Lover, Gates Of Babylon, Catch The Rainbow, Stone Cold and the surprising Lady Of The Lake. The stand out track for me was Catch The Rainbow which (to me) was flawless, a beautiful soft start building  into a powerhouse track which all performed with great skill. The crescendo towards the end just blew me away.2nd set also delivered a nice mix with  three of my all time favourites and a few of the "lady pleases" lol, no offence intended. Man On The Silver Mountain, Mistreated, Do You Close Your Eyes, Still I'm Sad, I Surrender, Since You've Been Gone, Stargazer, Light In The Black, Long Live Rock 'n' Roll and All Night Long.Mistreated with its power guitar intro and raging vocals was excellent, Still I'm Sad had me lost for words, Stargazer was mind blowing but holy shit, Light In The Black held together perfectly on bass show cased  keys and lead guitar but stand out for me - drums. Absolutely nailed it. The band might pick holes in the name of professionalism but as a fan I couldn't ask for more.You will never see Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow again, Rainbow Rising are as near to the real deal as you're ever going to get, almost a reincarnation and will take you back in time - that's guaranteed.