THE COCKPIT, Leeds - It Will Be Missed

Leeds is one of England's best cities for showcasing the finest talent on the UK music scene. This scene is lived through the countless music venues in Leeds, many of which hold both a national and international reputation. The Cockpit is one is these venues. Based on Swinegate towards the south end of the city centre, this venue has been one the main hubs of UK music for the twenty years it has been open. Alas, this reign has now come to a close. Announced earlier this month, The Cockpit will no longer be open as neither a gig nor club venue.
In a statement on their main website they stated:
'It is with great regret that we have to announce the permanent closure of the Cockpit. After 20 great years as an integral pillar of the Leeds music scene we have decided that it is no longer viable to deliver you the level of service you deserve with the building in its current condition.'
Following this, they go on to say:
'We would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you who came to watch your favourite bands, danced, stage dived, crowd surfed, found your life partner and gave the Cockpit its reputation as one of the best live music venues in the UK.'
Indeed it was considered one of the UK's best live music venues, with a history of artists to reckon with. Here are just some of the artists and bands that have played there:
- Amy Winehouse                                         - Mumford and Sons
- Biffy Clyro                                                    - Enter Shikari
- Pigeon Detectives                                       - All Time Low                                   
- Arctic Monkeys                                           - The Killers                           
- You Me At Six                                              - Glasvegas                                        
- Bloc Party
...and this is just a small number of the famous musicians that have performed here, it's even rumoured that two members of the Kaiser Chiefs first met at this venue. Yet it was not just loved for its live music gigs that were on show, it was an essential part of the clubbing scene in Leeds. With its regular club nights, such as  'Slam Dunk' (Tuesdays) and 'the Garage' (Fridays), it played music from a variety of genres, drawing in both locals and students into one fantastic musical community week in, week out.

There is no doubt that this venue has been an integral part of the music scene in Leeds and this is reflected in the reactions that have been pouring in from social media sites. Indie band Wild Beasts tweeted: “Sleep well @CockpitLeeds and thanks for the memories”, whilst Frank Turner posted "Very sad to hear that the Cockpit in Leeds is closing its doors. Great venue, played there many times." One member of the Pigeon Detectives posted “RIP @CockpitLeeds, the venue of my youth! I’ve never been kicked out of a club so regularly, been sick on a floor so often and danced so hard!” Karrang! Magazine posted a message on their website stating "With some of us at Kerrang! having attended our first gigs at The Cockpit, we’re gutted to hear about the loss of the venue." Here at Hot Vox we are saddened to hear that such a great music venue that we enjoyed attending so much is closing its doors.
However not all is lost, on the official website they have stated that the two popular club nights Slam Dunk and the Garage will be moving to another venue: The Key Club, which is scheduled to open up its doors on the 20th September. Nevertheless, the music scene of Leeds has taken a hit now that the Cockpit will no longer be open and begs one question: Who will now take on the role of providing amazing live music to one of the UK's most musical cities?

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