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Rafters (nightclub)

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Title: Rafters (nightclub)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: The Southern Death Cult (album), Colin Curtis (DJ), So It Goes (TV series), Manchester city centre
Collection: Nightclubs in Manchester
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rafters (nightclub)

Rafters Club
Rafters logo
Logo from 1979 poster
Address 65, Oxford Street (St. James Buildings)[1][2]
Location Manchester, England
Type Nightclub
Genre(s) Rock
Capacity to 1000[3]
Opened Start of the 1970s
Renovated Renamed to Jilly's in 1983, to MusicBox in 1992[3]
Rafters nightclub at the Manchester map
Rafters nightclub at the Manchester map
Rafters on the map of Manchester

Rafters was a nightclub located in St. James Buildings, Oxford Street,[1][2] Manchester, England. Some well known bands played concerts at Rafters in the 1970s and 1980s.

Rob Gretton who went on to become the manager of Joy Division worked at Rafters. It featured in the 2007 film Control. The Depeche Mode albums An Futurist Night[4] and A Second Now in Manchester[5][note 1] were recorded here in 1981. A Second Now In Manchester was released on CD on Vertigo Records in 1990


  • History 1
  • Concerts 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Rafters opened in Manchester in the 1970s in St James's Buildings in Oxford Street. The schedule generally remained the same: live gigs on Monday and Wednesday nights and a Folk night on Tuesday. By the mid-1970s the venue had become better known by the public and musicians, and leading musical bands began to play there. Following the rise of punk rock in 1976 and 1977, the venue became one of the main places in Manchester for live music. Joy Division performed there and in other Manchester venues such as Rock World.[3]

Numerous new bands played in Rafters in 1977 among them Stiff Records took place here on 14 April 1978. The event proved significant in the history of the band Joy Division. Rob Gretton and Tony Wilson of Granada TV were present at the event and saw Joy Division play. Joy Division were the last of 17 bands to play, but made a strong impression on those at the concerts. As Rob Gretton commented:[3]

Rafters closed in 1983. In its final years the DJ was Mike Shaft who appeared on Piccadilly Radio with Takin' Care of Business. After that the club was renamed as Jilly's which existed to 1993, after which the club was called MusicBox.[3]



  1. ^ a b The fan-site of France has the wrong date, the correct date can be seen on the CD cover
  2. ^ Info from So It Goes TV series page
  3. ^ It is not known if there was one concert or two. "?? December 1977: Rafters, Manchester". Joy Division Concerts.  
  4. ^ Info from Joy Division#Early releases
  5. ^ Info from Throbbing Gristle live performances
  6. ^ Info from TGV DVD set page
  7. ^ Info from TG+ DVD set
  8. ^ Info from The Southern Death Cult album page. Songs named Crow and Faith
  9. ^ Info from Festival of the Tenth Summer page


  1. ^ a b "Places of Interest".  
  2. ^ a b "Listed buildings in Manchester by street (O)". A-Z of Listed Buildings in Manchester. Manchester City Council. Retrieved 22 February 2010
    Oxford Street (east side): …Nos.65 to 95. St. James's Buildings. Grade II. 20.6.88
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Our history". Jilly's Rockworld - home of Manchester's rock & alternative community. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "1981-08-05 Manchester (An Futurist Night) - front". pre speak & spell (31.05.1980 - 29.09.1981). Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "A Second Now In Manchester". Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "31st May 1977: Rafters, Manchester". Joy Division Concerts.  
  7. ^ "30th June 1977: Rafters, Manchester". Joy Division Concerts.  
  8. ^ a b "The Prefects Gig History". Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "13th October 1977: Rafters, Manchester". Joy Division Concerts.  
  10. ^ "24th November 1977: Rafters, Manchester". Joy Division Concerts.  
  11. ^ "28th March 1978: Rafters, Manchester". Joy Division Concerts.  
  12. ^ "14th April 1978: Rafters, Manchester". Joy Division Concerts.  
  13. ^ "Dire Straits tour 1978". Tours. Canada: Mark Knopfler official site. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "1981 Tour". Depeche Mode (Old version). Retrieved 22 February 2010. 

External links

  • "Our history". Jilly's Rockworld - home of Manchester's rock & alternative community. Retrieved 23 February 2010page about "Rafters" 
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