The Musical Janeens

Ian Elliott, Ian Burden and Martin Rootes met at school in Peterborough, UK where they started making music together. Whilst both the Ians could play instruments, Martin used to create sounds from a collection of electronic devices, sound effects records and tape machines. When they finished school they initially went their separate ways, but due to a chance meeting on a train they came back together and used to meet up in Sheffield to make music utilising the equipment at Lady Mabel College where Ian Elliott was doing teacher training. Their music at this point was experimental and mainly improvised. Ian Burden then moved to Sheffield to Psalter Lane Art College, and a year later Martin Rootes came up after finishing his degree. At this point the three decided to call themselves Graph (2) and instead of experimental improvisations set out to do songs written by Ian Elliott. For a time they remained a trio, but they didn't have a drum machine and instead of a bass guitar Ian Burden used a normal electric guitar. Martin played an organ that he'd push through various effects units. Through John Turner, who at the time was Artistic Director at Rotherham Arts Centre, a recording session was arranged at the Yorkshire Arts Studio in Bradford. The first five songs were recorded there in June 1978, the next two in a later session.

After this initial period as a trio they added drummer Nik Allday and recorded the song "Drowning". This got the interest of Bob Last of Fast Products who included it on Earcom 1. Later they had a change of line-up replacing Nik Allday with Rod Siddall and adding Pam Young on backing vocals. They also changed their name to "Salon Graph". The record company Pinnacle had got interested by "Drowning" and paid for a recording session in London, but the two songs that were done there were never released.

They finally changed their name to "Musical Janeens (And Other Party Games)" and shifted back to improvisation with the three core members being joined by various other musicians. This happened just before a mini tour of the Netherlands that had been arranged by Wally Van Middendorp of Plurex Records, but they still went borrowing Ze Popes drummer Orpheus Roovers. The four gigs they did were recorded on a ghetto blaster and ended up being released as a live album "The Musical Janeens Sell Out". They also did a recording session at Psalter Lane Art College (one track from this session ended up on the "Bouquet Of Steel" compilation).

Eventually the three went their separate ways, Ian Burden joining The Human League, Ian Elliott going solo and Martin Rootes playing with The Wealthy Texans.


PLUREX 1500 The Musical Janeens - Sell Out album art The Musical Janeens Sell Out(LP) Plurex Records PLUREX 1500 Netherlands 1980 Sell This Version


none The Musical Janeens - The Psalter Lane Tapes 1980 album art The Musical Janeens The Psalter Lane Tapes 1980(File, FLAC) Sheffield Tape Archive none UK 2021