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  • 4.0 star rating
    5/3/2010

    Hmm, methinks Sam just doesn't *get* it. The Music Box is an awesome place, and here's why:
    - DJs such as Riton, Dusty Kid, MSTRKRFT, Mr Scruff have played here in the past year. It has a heavy rotation of ace acts playing ace music.
    - the drinks are cheap. Though given the skankiness of the place, perhaps order it in a closed can.
    - the sound system is great.
    - the crowd is (usually) really great, up for a proper rave, but friendly and unlikely to harass or bother anyone. It's nice there.

    It's one of Manchester's genuinely unique places. It rails against the homogenous chain-bar scene and offers a great clubbing experience for fans of all things loud and electronic.

    Mr Scruff may have left for Band on the Wall, but Music Box lives on.

    (I can't comment on the goth-rock side, Jillys, but it scares me...)

  • 3.0 star rating
    18/4/2010

    Mr Scruff's spiritual home - the man seems to always be here whenever I'm out in town. Except currently, because he's peddling his lovely wares at Band on the Wall instead. And now that Jilly's has fallen into the hands of the debt collectors, it remains to be seen whether Music Box will survive. It'll be a shame if it doesn't, because it has some great memories; some truly awesome artists have played here, but when you take away the bands, the DJs and the crowds of revellers, you see it for what it is. A cold, dingy place that could do with a lick of paint.

    I think we get swept up in the romance of it all because Music Box's bare bones aren't all that fabulous. When I think of some of its rival live music and clubnight establishments around the Northern Quarter and even on this very same Oxford Road, Music Box begins to look a bit tired. The same reason we all pile into The Temple really... novelty value, a long-standing history. Everyone should see something here at least once if you want to get into the true Mancunian spirit of things, but you'll soon find yourself yearning for Moho or Band on the Wall or even one of the Academies.

  • 4.0 star rating
    7/12/2008
    First to Review

    Music box is a really rowdy venue, I saw Mr Scruff DJing here and it was a great night. The crowd was mainly of students, very unpretentious and chilled out. It is quite large, with various seating areas and a good sized dance floor. The bit by the toliets and main bar was freezing so we had to run through it!

    Prices are quite high for manchester- double vodka and mixer was about £3.50. Also, it was 10 to get in, but I saw it as a gig night so didn't mind coughing up. All in all, a nice little venue with a great atmosphere- hard to beat. They normally drum n bass nights on there, but it is a good mix.

  • 3.0 star rating
    24/9/2009

    I went to see Mr.Scuff here. Great night but not that convinced about the venue. I came to the venue a week earlier when a drum and bass night was on and the venue was dead.

    The place is freezing and to be honest doesn't seem to have put loads of money into the interior. All that said it serves its purpose and attracts a good mix of students and music lovers. I wold say you are less likely to find scallies here then in a lot of venues around town which is always a bonus. When I saw Mr.Scruff they set up a makeshift cafe on one side- nice touch.

    Will definitely go back soon but will be staying well clear of any drum and bass night - definitely not my thang!

  • 2.0 star rating
    6/2/2010

    The Music Box is a tired looking place from the outside, and it's not much better when you get down into this basement venue. When compared with the character of Night and Day or the Deaf Institute, you can see why it doesn't have as much of a name for itself. It just lacks that bit of spark or individuality that can turn a so-so venue into a great one.

    The Music Box is located just at the bottom of town on the Oxford Road. The last time I paid it a visit was to see a band called Tall Ships play a clubnight. The band were incredible, but pretty much everything else had gone wrong. There were barely any people at this clubnight (10 max), an this just made the venue feel even colder, bland and well, kind of like a box.

    The sound wasn't too good either, and by the time the band finished, I was glad to be leaving.

    • Qype User vicky…
    • Manchester
    • 5 friends
    • 39 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    9/12/2007

    This place is wicked! When I went they has two very different DJ's on playing excellent music. One was like an old skool mash up and the other was like hard minimal.

    Drinks were good prices. Good toilets. The Bouncers were sound - actually quite funny. And the bar staff were great. We had a brilliant night in here and stayed here a long time.

    It was £8 to get in. Towards the end of the night a guy came round with flyers for an after party which was rubbish but obviously not their fault. So its a good place to be to find out about after parties.

    The place was quite empty - I dont know why because music was great and the price. This meant there wasn't a brilliant atmosphere. There was quite a few scals/chavs as the night went on but I still enjoyed myself!

  • 4.0 star rating
    10/9/2009

    A few weeks ago I was feeling tingly. I was tingly because I had just had my last message of confirmation from my friends and now it was on- we were going to Music Box that Saturday to see that friendly man Mr Scruff.
    It was only Wednesday but given that Saturday generally leaves me in a mess till Tuesday I like to milk the buildup for all its worth. So, tingling with excitement I was.
    We arrived and headed straight for the tea cafe- that's right, one of the many original and quirky features of a Mr Scruff night is his English tea cafe where you can experience the deliciously naughty feeling of being completely plonkered in civilized surroundings.
    I sat in anticipation of the incredible mix of everything from Ella Fitzgerald, to Roots Manuva to Bob Marley that was to come, excusing each laid back dubstep tune with "don't worry, it'll get going soon".
    By the 10th or 11th however I was starting to get worried.
    By the 20th, the only thing getting going were my poe faced posse.
    Then it hit me.
    We had fallen foul of a common trap- Mr Scruff related hypocrisy.
    The thing most preached by likers of the Scruffy One is how they love the unpredictability of his sets and how he "just plays whatever he is into that night". The honest truth is that most people only like a certain type of unpredictability- their own.

  • 2.0 star rating
    21/4/2010

    I know it's not too fair to review a place that might be really good for most of the people that you know, and really bad for you just because it is not your cup of tea. That's the case with Jillys. I know so many people that love it. You might have even past near it, on a Friday night, and you'll see how packed it can be. Now, I don't like it at all. I went there for a night out and I didn't have the best time of my life. The music was alright. I mean, rock music. Different rooms, different sizes with different kind of rock. My boyfriend was introducing me to every single one of them, giving me elaborate explanations about the place. Fail. Didn't like one bit. Perhaps the music? Although I'm into electronic and trance music. Well, I suppose it is better to go to Jilys than to go to a crapy club, where you can see just Barbie girls. If you like that non conformism, or if you love Whitby and the Goths, you will have a brilliant night in this club.
    Now, I like most of the Goths that I know, I love Whitby because it looks really, really good, and you can go there, have a bit of romance in a Dracula style atmosphere. But this club, it's nothing like that for me. Just a load place, where I don't wanna go again.

    • Qype User Skinti…
    • Manchester
    • 52 friends
    • 154 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    23/9/2008

    Great venue for DJ's and bands alike, I have been here for both! And they were really great nights, for bigger DJ nights like Mr Scruffs Keep it Unreal-they usually open upstairs (jillys) as part of the venue, and have different style sets in each room, for the venue as a band venue it's really small and intimate which makes it really special, the floor is on a bit of a slant so even small folk get to see the band play. Drinks aren't cheap and there's very rarely a drink promo on. The toilets are clean, seperate area near the stairs where the merch usually gets set up, not very much seating available.

    • Qype User lisago…
    • Manchester
    • 14 friends
    • 149 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    2/11/2007

    The Music Box Manchester's best night-club. They have amazing DJs from around the world playing everything from industrial techno to psychedelia. The atmosphere is electric and chilled out. It has three rooms with the bar decorated with hanging material from the ceiling. DJs like Mr. Scruff and the Unabombers have residencies and it often hosts one-off nights with special guest DJs. The bar prices are reasonable and the staff are friendly. A great night out.

    • Qype User abfate…
    • Manchester
    • 1 friend
    • 3 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    7/7/2011

    The music on a weekend is Trance and dance with some drum n base, if you like this sort of music and a lively atmosphere you will love it hear.
    djsmanchester.co.uk

    • Qype User robbie…
    • Manchester
    • 71 friends
    • 157 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    17/11/2007

    The music Box is one of Manchester's well known dance venues. This is a great place if you want a lively and late saturday night out. If you are familiar with the club you will be more than familiar with their best night Electric Chair, this has been running for sometime now and is extremely popular. It is a spacious venue and its just as well because every time I have been it has been absolutely crowded, this shows how popular it is. The music on a weekend is Trance and dance with some drum n base, if you like this sort of music and a lively atmosphere you will love it hear. I would bear in mind though that it is specialist dance music and not commercial. I have never been mid week but I have been told by friend that have been that it has various nights where they have bands there for live entertainment, this is more indie focused though. I'm not to sure I would like the mind week but the saturday nights are definitely my style.

    • Qype User sylvia…
    • Manchester
    • 2 friends
    • 32 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    3/10/2008

    Great place to see and listen to great Djs and bands sits on oxford road waiting to be sampled.

    • Qype User griff_…
    • Sheffield, South Yorkshire
    • 0 friends
    • 76 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    19/11/2008

    great little venue downstairs for bands /dj's. excellent staff, nice range of drinks at a reasonable price. Then theres jillys rock world upstairs (all part of same venue?) which is an awsome rock club with all the best tunes that youd expect to hear in a rock club.

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