Manchester club where Tony Wilson discovered Joy Division to close

Peter Hook says the Music Box was a 'fantastic' venue

The Manchester venue where Factory Records boss Tony Wilson first saw Joy Division has closed with immediate effect, its owners have confirmed.

Both Jilly’s Rockworld and the Music Box venues, which are in the same building at 65 Oxford Street, ceased trading earlier this week (April 13) after going into liquidation.

Music Box was notable as it is the place where Factory Records boss Tony Wilson first saw Joy Division, on April 14, 1978, when they played a showcase set at the venue (which was then called Rafters). That period of the band’s history – along with the club – is featured in the recent Joy Division biopic ‘Control’.

Speaking of the closure now, former Joy Division bassist Peter Hook told BBC News: “It’s one of the saddest things in the world when these institutions close.”

Bosses from Jilly’s Rockworld and Music Box posted messages of thanks to their customers on their websites, with a spokesperson for the former writing: “Today the rock died and Manchester‘s alternative community mourns.”

Peter Hook recently announced details of his tribute gig for his former Joy Division bandmate Ian Curtis, set to take place next month.