The Janitors

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The Janitors
Origin Leicester/Sunderland/Newcastle, England
Genres Noise rock, Alternative rock
Years active 1984–1989
Labels In-Tape, Abstract
Past members Andrew Denton
Craig Hope
Simon Warnes
Tim Stirland
Pete Crowe
Jeff Murray
Phil Storey
Bobo Nando (Paul Touche)

The Janitors were an alternative rock/Noise rock band from Sunderland & Newcastle, formed in 1984.[1]


The Janitors were led by singer Andrew Denton with the backing of Craig Hope (slide guitar, keyboards), Pete Crowe (bass guitar), and Tim Stirland (drums).[1][2] Described as "a mixture of Membranes meeting Captain Beefheart, they signed to Marc Riley's In-Tape label, releasing their debut single, "Chicken Stew" in July 1985.[1] It went on to reach the top 10 of the UK Independent Chart.[2] In anticipation of the single's release, Denton and Hope moved to Newcastle to recruit bassist Simon Warnes, however Crowe took his place.

Second single "Good to be King" was also an indie hit, reaching number 14, and debut album Thunderhead, produced by Jon Langford of The Mekons, peaked at number 6 on the indie albums chart.[2] The band recorded three sessions for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show, one each year between 1985 and 1987.[3] Pete Crowe was ejected over a dispute with Denton and replaced by Jeff Murray. The band then moved to the Abstract label. In 1988 Phil Storey joined on rhythm guitar. After two further singles, their second album, Deafhead, was released in June 1988.[1]The band released one more single and in late 1988, Dentover left the band. American Bobo Nando picked up the mike, contributing to one new song "Billy Psycho". The band dissolved in August 1989.

Stirland went on to perform with My Bloody Valentine and The Mekons. Hope (Hoppy) is currently guitar technician for Chris Martin of Coldplay.[4] Denton now teaches modern history and is Head of Humanities at Evesham High School, Worcestershire. Jeff Murray formed G.R.O.W.T.H. with Kev of Gaye Bykers On Acid and Tommo of The Bomb party, but they split after one album. Crowe moved to New Zealand. Nando (Paul Touche) sang briefly with Birthmark.



  • Thunderhead mini-LP (1986), In-Tape - UK Indie No. 6
  • Deafhead (1988), Abstract

Singles, EPs[edit]

  • "Chicken Stew" (1985), In-Tape - UK Indie No. 9[2]
  • "Good to be King" (1986), In-Tape - UK Indie No. 14
  • "Family Fantastic" (1987), Abstract
  • "Moonshine" (1988), Abstract
  • "Halfway to Happening" (1988), Abstract

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • Imminent 4 (1986), Food: "Really Shrinking"
  • Six Disques Bleu (1987), Abstract: "No Where"
  • British Airwaves (1988), JCI: "Going To Be"
  • Good Morning Mister Presley (198?), Grunt Grunt A Go Go: "The Devil Goes To Whitley Bay"


  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2003) "Janitors", in The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 379
  2. ^ a b c d Lazell, Barry (1998) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p. 122
  3. ^ "The Janitors", Keeping It Peel, BBC, retrieved 2010-10-09
  4. ^ McGinn, Matt (2010) Roadie: My Life on the Road with Coldplay, Anova Books, ISBN 1906032653