Wayne Dorman – Vocals
The Blackmore Legacy 17/10/2015 – 01/09/2016
Rainbow Rising 01/09/2016 – 17/06/2018
Tributes have poured in on social media each claiming how badly missed Wayne Dorman will be both as a Frontman and for the person he is.
Pete Hagan wrote “Wow, what a weekend it's been for us......two absolutely fantastic gigs at the Flowerpot in Derby and the Diamond in Sutton in Ashfield on Friday night and last night respectively. Couldn't get a better send off for our Wayne - it's an absolute honour to have him as part of the Rainbow Rising family and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for keeping our dream alive, particularly as he joined us at a time we were struggling with the tragic loss of Raggie and the future of the band looked bleak. We wish Wayne every success and happiness in his new venture and to all our friends and fans we thank each and every one of you for your support”.
Pete made reference to Wayne’s biggest challenge when he joined which was to fill the enormous void left after the tragic loss of one of Rainbow Rising’s founding members Mark ‘Raggie’ Slack. At the time the band were playing under the banner of The Blackmore Legacy which covered a wider range of groups that Ritchie Blackmore either played in or had some connection to including Rainbow, Whitesnake and Deep Purple. With Wayne’s arrival the band returned to a mainly Rainbow setlist and saw Wayne take the stage for the first time on January 29th 2016 at Bilston for a Deep Purple Family Tree event. It was apparent from the start that Wayne had not only had a great voice that suited the Ronnie James Dio era but was also a terrific showman and steadily honed his theatrical style to suit. Gates Of Babylon is vocally immensely hard to sing but quickly became one of his favourite tracks as it gave him chance to bring in his own character to the song and was packed full of facial gestures, hand movements and artistry. The Blackmore Legacy was to come to an end in Tavistock which many feel was one of Wayne’s and the bands finest performances. Drummer James Last was moving to Canada and Mick Rice had agreed to return so it made perfect sense that Mick’s return should relaunch Rainbow Rising as Mick was the co-founder of Rainbow Rising with his close friend Raggie back in 1998.
September 2016 saw Rainbow Rising reborn and rest is pretty much history. Wayne established himself with the faithful following winning crowds over wherever the band played with his classic on stage style and his off stage charm. Always happy to mingle after the shows and chat with the public and often found directing the crowds throughout shows most notably during Catch The Rainbow. Many performances of note to mention but one stands out above all the rest. The date was the 15th July 2017 and the venue was the Rock & Bike Fest in South Normanton, Derbyshire. A huge crowd packed the Raggie James Stage and a blistering performance was witnessed by all with Wayne Dorman firmly establishing himself. Wayne was ever respectful of Raggie’s memory from the very start to his last gig which demonstrates his calibre as a human being and a good example of this was a very moving speech he gave before dedicating and performing Catch The Rainbow to Raggie’s home crowd. His last performance and he bowed out in style was at The Diamond, Sutton-In-Ashfield which is one of the bands favourite haunts on June 16th 2018.
Personally I can cannot emphasise just how important Wayne’s arrival was. I can honestly say the guys in my opinion were looking at the end of the road performing as a group. A charming, highly intellectual, unassuming guy who's sole aim is to do the best he can both on and off stage.
Wayne’s partner and established Rainbow Rising Family Member Rebecca wrote - This weekend, Wayne performed for the last time with the fantastic Rainbow Rising. And what a weekend it was!! - Two nights of awesome music, good beer and great times. Yes, it was emotional, but I had an absolute blast, I honestly don't think I have laughed so hard in ages. I blew an organ for the first time too! - Huge thanks and love to the entire extended Rainbow Rising family - because family is what you are now. You have made me feel so welcome and given me some awesome memories that I will cherish forever. We will continue to support the Rainbow lads, and will hopefully catch up with you all at a future gig, if not before.
Meets for curry/booze/general shenanigans are always welcome too :-)
Wayne posted a farewell message - What a weekend! A truly fantastic send off at my final two shows with Rainbow Rising. It has been a wonderful 3 year journey that started with both me and my vocals being horribly out of shape and with more or less zero confidence, however the band's and the extended family's unfaltering faith in me rebuilt my confidence and skills up to where they are today. I am eternally grateful for the love, support and pure rock and roll! I know I wouldn't be where I am today without what you all did for me.
I had some serious boots to fill and I always knew that it would be hard for everyone to accept me into the family, I am both glad and honoured that you did, these past 3 years have been some of the greatest and happiest of my life. Big shout out to Roy for putting me in touch with the band in the first place! #Legend!
I know that my successor is really going to be incredible. He's a truly talented musician and a lovely guy. I look forward to seeing you all on stage again soon.
All the very best and thank you for everything. I love you all.
Wayne Dorman was most definitely Rainbow Rising's Light In The Black