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Rainbow Rising 2016 - DATE

With James Last moving to Canada the band were looking to recruit a replacement and only one name was on everyone's mind. Mick Rice was approached to see if he would return and fortunately for the band he agreed under one condition, that the band return to being Rainbow Rising. It was an easy thing to agree to and was what everyone wanted and so Rainbow Rising were back

 

Mick Rice - Drums

Peter Hagan - Bass Guitar

Barry Sharples - Lead Guitar

Andy Gotteri - Keyboard

Wayne Dorman - Vocals

The first gig back as Rainbow Rising was held at one of the bands old haunts in The Arches in Coventry on October 21st. A disappointing turnout was on hand and it was becoming apparent that the time spent as The Blackmore Legacy was having a knock on effect so it was decided that the band needed to ramp up it's involvement on social media to raise awareness because people had become disassociated with the name. Six of the Ten following gigs were Deep Purple Family Tree events and most were not that well attended which was disheartening for the band - to make matters worse Barry Sharples had surgery on a damaged achilles heel and was missing for three of them. Fortunately in the middle of these were gigs at The Diamond in Sutton-in-Ashfield and The Flowerpot which were both full houses so things were beginning to look up. The band really took off again on July 15th 2017 - The Venue was The Rock n Bike Festival in South Normanton

Rainbow Rising Live at

The Rock & Bike Fest

Saturday 15th July 2017

This has to be one of the major highlights in Rainbow Risings history. The band had been keenly anticipating the festival for weeks, arrangements were in place to be onsite around 3pm giving plenty of time to settle in and take in the energy the festival was providing. Spending time to have a beer, catching up with with old friends and enjoying a tonne of banter keeping the adrenaline flowing. Today was a massive day for the band, the last time they played the festival Mark 'Raggie' Slack was the front man and sadly as most people know Raggie passed away in 2015 so this was to be a celebration and remembrance of an immense person on what was his home turf. Rainbow Rising were scheduled for an 8.15pm slot on the rightly named 'Raggie Stage', Cocked N Loaded's fine performance was going down a storm setting the stage for Rainbow Rising up nicely, when finished we witness a flurry of activity whilst equipment is swapped out as little time was available before Judy Garland would be announcing the bands entrance. Thanks to the tremendous set up and organisation at the festival the set was quickly readied - a quick rendition of Deep Purple's Burn was used as the soundcheck which really revved the crowd up - and OMG

"what a turnout"

 

You could feel the electricity - the marquee was pretty much rammed (bloody warm too), Judy Garland was on hand for the intro then to the delight of the crowd the lads ripped into a furious version of Kill The King. A thumping rendition of Man On The Silver Mountain followed and as on the 'On Stage' album the end of the track things mellowed out to a bit of Blues courtesy of Pete, Andy and Baz. I Surrender and Stone Cold followed but the song that people were waiting to hear was of course "Catch The Rainbow".

Wayne took time out to announce the song in remembrance of Raggie, informing people who did not know that they were performing on the stage dedicated to his memory and how much he is missed by all those who had the honour of knowing him. The song with Barry's Stratocaster guitar solo literally singing began perfectly then flowed gently through rising to it's crescendo. Wayne with tremendous style and composure performed the song with grace and power - drawing in the crowd and calling on them to join in a bit of audience participation. Many could be seen openly crying as the emotion of the occasion overwhelmed them - a very fitting tribute to a very special person.

 

The band went on to a powerful finish with three tacks - 16th Century Greensleeves, the iconic Stargazer and to cap it all the blistering Light In The Black. Time was up, the band were out of time and left the stage quite rightly to screams of appreciation for what had been the performance of a lifetime and many have stated the performance of the Festival. Raggie would have been so proud.

The Rock & Bike Festival proved to be the shot in the arm the band needed and for the rest of the year the turnout at gigs grew back to what the band had previously enjoyed - word was spreading the the Uk's No1 tribute to Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow were firing on all cylinders again. The new year passed and early in 2018 Wayne Dorman hinted that an offer had been made to him that he simply couldn't refuse. That offer turned out to be to play lead guitar with Onslaught - a major force in the 1980's had reformed. Wayne who had helped the band get through it's most difficult spell was a true professional from start to finish giving the band a healthy leaving date so they could source a suitable replacement. Wayne himself went out of his way to enable this to happen and after the advert went out receiving a healthy response for auditions one person towered above the rest. Wayne Dorman performed for the last time at The Diamond in Sutton-in-Ashfield on June 16th 2018.

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Tony Thurlow - 2018

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Mick Rice - Drums

Peter Hagan - Bass Guitar

Barry Sharples  - Lead Guitar

Andy Gotteri - Keyboard

Tony Thurlow - Vocals