Tamburlaine Profile

Jon Chapman
Published: 22 Jan 2015
Updated: 2 Apr 2019

Internationally and at home in the 1970s, the softer sounds of folk rock and melodic prog swept the airwaves. Singer-songwriters gaining exposure included Shona Laing, John Hanlon, and groups Waves from Auckland, Serenity in Christchurch and Lutha in Dunedin. In the middle of it all was Tamburlaine.

Raised in Wellington’s rich musical underground, the great Tamburlaine was born from British-style blues and the folk revival, and graduated from shouty, sweaty clubs to spellbinding larger concerts.

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Rebirth, the second Tamburlaine album, issued in 1973 with a cover by Denys Watkins
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The programme for the 1973 Last Maxina in Taihape show at Victoria University, featuring Tamburlaine and co-written by Tom Scott
Photo credit: National Library of New Zealand Eph-A-VARIETY-1973
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Tamburlaine, Mark 3: Steve Robinson, Rob Winch, Simon Morris, Peter Woods and Paul Davies
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Simon Morris in 1967
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Kelburn International Airport Ceremonial Guard Band, August 1967. Back row, from left: Mike Rashbrooke, Geoff Rashbrooke, Bill Lake, Simon Morris. Front row: Steve Robinson, Mitch Park, Lindy Mason
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Tamburlaine: Steve Robinson, Simon Morris and Denis Leong, the band that made the lauded 1972 album Say No More
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The Original Sin circa 1968: Simon Morris, Steve Robinson, Rick Bryant and Lindy Mason. Robinson and Mason were also in the wonderfully named Kelburn International Airport Ceremonial Guard Band.
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Steve Robinson
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Steve Robinson at the New Zealand Banjo Pickers' Convention, Hamilton, Easter 1970
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Steve Robinson and Penny Evison
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The Original Sin performing in the student union building, Victoria University of Wellington, 1967. From left: Simon Morris, Steve Robinson, Rick Bryant, Rod Bryant, Bill Lake and Norm McPherson.
Photo credit: Steve Robinson collection
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Tamburlaine - Sunny Side / Lady Wakes Up (Tartar TR006, 1973)
Photo credit: Chris Caddick collection
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Tamburlaine's second single Up Against the Wall b/w The Reaper (Tartar TR004, 1972)
Photo credit: Chris Caddick collection
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Simon Morris
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Welllington promoter/manager Graeme Nesbitt on the hunt for good seats at The Rolling Stones for both the bands he managed, Mammal and Tamburlaine
Photo credit: Phil Warren collection
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Tamburlaine's Pinus Radiata single (c 1975) with lyrics by Wendy Campbell-Purdie.
Photo credit: Chris Caddick collection
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Steve Robinson at the Hamilton Banjo Pickers Convention, 1970
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Say No More, the 1972 debut album on Tartar Records, named by Nick Bollinger as one of the 100 Essential New Zealand Albums
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A poster for Mammal and Tamburlaine at Wellington club Lucifer's in 1972
Photo credit: Rick Bryant Collection
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National Banjo Pickers' Convention, Hamilton, Easter 1970, where Steve Robinson and Denis Leong both featured as soloists
Photo credit: National Library of New Zealand Eph-D-MUSIC-WFC-1970-01
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Tamburlaine: Denis Leong, Penny Evison, Steve Robinson and Simon Morris
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Steve Robinson, Denis Leong and Simon Morris at the Hamilton Banjo Pickers' Convention, 1970
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Tamburlaine - The Raven and the Nightingale / Lady Wakes Up single (Tartar TR001, 1972)
Photo credit: Chris Caddick collection
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Members:

Denis Leong - guitar, vocals

Simon Morris - bass, guitar, mandolin, recorder, vocals

Steve Robinson - guitar, vocals

Rob Winch - guitar, vocals

Mark Hansen - drums, vocals