Leeds The Cockpit
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The Cockpit is an independently run live music and club venue in the heart of Leeds City Centre managed by locally based promoters Futuresound Music. The venue is built underneath a series of three railway arches, giving the venue its distinctive curved ceilings.
The Cockpit opened in 1994 and was previously called The Cock of the North pub. The alternative live music venue was set up by Colin Oliver (still the main band promoter and owner at The Cockpit), while Richard Todd (who joined him a few mnths later) took charge of our alternative club nights and began the now legendary club, Brighton Beach.
Since opening in 1994, the Cockpit has attracted some of the biggest names in music to Leeds and has remained dedicated to seeking out the most exciting new bands at the very start of their careers. In the last 14 years we've seen Coldplay, The White Stripes, Amy Winehouse, Queens of the Stoneage, Flaming Lips, The Libertines, Mars Volta, My Chemical Romance, Panic at the Disco, The Hives, Elastica, Les Savy Fav, The Killers, At The Drive In, Fall Out Boy, Hot Chip and Bloc Party amongst many, many others take to the Cockpit stages for truly legendary performances.
In 2001, the Cockpit was voted Radio 1's Live Music Venue of the Year by listeners of The Evening Session, then presented by Steve Lamacq. During this same year, The Offspring played a secret Radio 1 show, just a few months after selling out Wembly Arena. The thrill of huge bands playing the small Cockpit stages has continued right up to the secret Bloc Party show in December 2007 and we've got some equally special shows lined up for 2008. Join our mailing list to keep updated with Cockpit listings & make sure you find out about secret shows as they are announced!
Most nights, when the bands have left the stage, the Cockpit hosts a variety of club nights, where you're likely to see bands hitting the dancefloor after their sets. From 1994 until 2002 Friday nights were occupied by Brighton Beach, the infamous Britpop night, which attracted people from across the UK and where (we've since heard) Nick Hodgeson introduced the rest of the Kaiser Chiefs to Ricky Wilson.
Brighton Beach has since moved to a bigger venue and the Cockpit's current Friday night is The Session, an orgy of indie-fuelled-dancefloor-antics. Saturday nights feature total Rock 'n' Roll action from the Cockpit's flagship night, The Garage, crowned best alternative night in the North of England. Whilst the remainder of the week is comprised of huge Skate Punk night Slam Dunk (look out for the Slam Dunk Festival each year too!) on Tuesdays, and Indie and Electro at Panic on Wednesdays. For full details head to the individual club pages.
Building on the success of the Cockpit, Futuresound Music, now extensively promote concerts at venues around
Leeds from The Brudenell Social Club and Irish Centre to the University venues and 8000 capacity Millennium Square outdoor arena. Our personal highlights include The Strokes 2002 gig at Leeds University Refectory, The Kaiser Chiefs three night run at Leeds Town Hall in October 2005 & LCD Soundsystem's storming show at the now sadly defunct Blank Canvas in December 2005.
But, back at the Cockpit, alongside the signed acts, each week you can catch some of the hottest new Leeds bands performing live. There's some incredible talent in the city right now and who knows you might stumble upon the next Pigeon Detectives, Cribs or Sunshine Underground one rainy night. In 2008 we'll be watching out for The Grammatics, The Bacchai & The Debuts, but look for Futuresound Unsigned nights in our listings for new acts.
One of the key times to catch new bands at the Cockpit is during our yearly Futursound Music Competition which takes place in the weeks leading up to Leeds Festival Weekend. The competition features 30 bands, picked from hundreds of entrants, playing a succession of gigs at the Cockpit to