It was an iconic venue that was renowned by music lovers in Kirklees and beyond- and now some Huddersfield musicians have had their say on the announcement that the Cockpit in Leeds has closed for good.
They were amongst hundreds of people of all ages made the well-travelled journey to the dark arches venue underneath Leeds Rail station to rock out to bands and singers who graced the stage during its 20 year life span before its owners made the shock announcement on their website today.
The Cockpit closed for the summer on July 19, and it was originally claimed by a spokesman that it would only shut temporarily to carry out ‘essential maintenance work’ before the announcement was made, alongside a list of new venues for upcoming gigs.
Groove punk band, Mr Shiraz, played at the venue over 30 times and frontman, Mikey Baird, said he was shocked to hear the news.
He said: “I’d heard rumours that it wasn’t going to re-open but you never really believe them.
“It’s gutting because it was a legendary venue in Yorkshire.
“We got to play there with bands like Alkaline Trio and the staff really gave us a hand.
“We had some great memories, such as selling out the main room as an unsigned band, which was fantastic.
“I know that some nights, like Slam Dunk, have already found new venues but it’s a sad loss.”
Meanwhile drummer of garage-blues band Knuckle Ben Wallbanks was similarly disappointed.
He said: “It’s a shame. We’ve played their twice this year alone and they put on some really cool gigs which we went to watch.
“I think you can only describe it as an iconic venue.”
The Zillaz drummer, John Longson, had some reservations about the venue but felt its closure had had a sad impact on the smaller music venue scene.
He said: “They were focused on booking the bands that could bring them the most money and we never played there.
“But I know that it was popular with music fans from the area and I used to go to gigs there quite a bit when I was in between 18 and 21, so in that sense it is a bit sad.
“I think it’s quite a shame that smaller venues are closing in the area, especially one with the reputation that the Cockpit had.”
Meanwhile, the lead singer of psychedelic folk band Maia, Tom Clegg, said: “Personally I didn’t rate it as a venue so I’m not that sorry to see it go.
“The sound, lighting and beer weren’t good, the floor was sticky and I think that they were very close-minded in the style of music that they put on there.”