Tamburlaine Profile

Jon Chapman
22 Jan 2015

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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Steve Robinson at the New Zealand Banjo Pickers' Convention, Hamilton, Easter 1970
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Tamburlaine - Lady Wakes Up (1972)
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Tamburlaine: Denis Leong, Penny Evison, Steve Robinson and Simon Morris
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Steve Robinson at the Hamilton Banjo Pickers Convention, 1970
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Tamburlaine, Mark 3: Steve Robinson, Rob Winch, Simon Morris, Peter Woods and Paul Davies
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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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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 - The Raven and the Nightingale (1972)
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Steve Robinson
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Simon Morris in 1967
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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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The Original Sin, 1967, with Rick Bryant on vocals, Steve Robinson and Simon Morris are to the left of him with Rod Bryant and Bill Lake to his right. The drummer, far right, is Geoff Kennedy, later to found Wellington's Cafe L'Affare.
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Tamburlaine - Sleeper Awake
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Steve Robinson, Denis Leong and Simon Morris at the Hamilton Banjo Pickers' Convention, 1970
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Simon Morris
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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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Rebirth, the second Tamburlaine album, issued in 1973 with a cover by Denys Watkins
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Tamburlaine - The Flame of Thoriman (1972)
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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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A poster for Mammal and Tamburlaine at Wellington club Lucifer's in 1972
Photo credit: Rick Bryant Collection
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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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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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Steve Robinson and Penny Evison
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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