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Melodic pop four-piece Chameleon was formed by Jazz School students Leigh Franklin and Julian Marchant late in 1993. Drummer Bevan Davison and keyboardist turned bassist Mike completed the lineup. This was soon to change with Greig Bainbridge coming on board on bass (ex Bill Direen and the Builders) and Mark Kouvelis on drums, both of whom played in local jazz-funk band Eat My Shorts.

Their first gig was at the Dux de Lux alongside Atomic Blossom and Squirm following the release of their single Blue Soup, under Failsafe.

Early in 1995 the band won the NZ heats of the Next Big Thing competition along with Auckland Band Word, which led them to compete in Melbourne against International competition. This cemented their desire to return to Melbourne as soon as possible to take advantage of the thriving music scene there.

While there guitarist Julian contracted a mysterious illness which left the left side of his body numb and having to learn to play without feeling in his fingers. Chameleon then released a 5 track EP titled Gladwrap under Saint Records early 1996, which followed a Nationwide tour.

They moved to Melbourne March 1996 minus bass-player Greig, who had musical commitments in NZ. They then recorded 4 track EP Hot’n’tot, named after Greig’s dog Hotty.

Failsafe Records


  • Julian Marchant (Guitar/Vocals, 1993 – 1997?)
  • Leigh Franklin (Guitar/Vocals, 1993 – 1997?)
  • Bevan Davison (Drums, 1993)
  • Mike (Keyboards/Bass, 1993)
  • Greig Bainbridge (Bass, 1993 – 1996)
  • Mark Kouvalis (Drums, 1993 -1997?)


  • Gladwrap EP (1996, Saint Records)



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