‘Leeds’ live music scene still strong despite Cockpit closure’

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industry insiders have declared that Leeds’ music scene is still alive and kicking – despite the closure of one of the city’ biggest independent venues.

The Cockpit, under the Dark Arches, announced on Thursday it would close after 20 years in business, due to issues with the building and dwindling numbers at student club nights.

But the shock departure hasn’t worried Ian De-Whytell, owner of Leeds-based Crash Records.

Speaking to the YEP, he said: “I don’t think there will be a huge impact on the Leeds music scene because there are plenty of other venues to pick up the slack.

“But it will be a much-missed fixture.”

He added: “There are now more venues than there used to be and The Cockpit almost had a monopoly on gigs when it opened, which of course it hasn’t now.

“The venue was starting to show its age and when there are newer venues that are state-of-the-art, it does make it look a little dated.

“The student club night scene does seem to have undergone a change too.

“It seems the student 
generation now are not really wanting to go to club nights any more.”

Meanwhile, The Cockpit owner Richard Todd has said he is touched by all the messages of support and outpouring of love for the venue.

Richard has fond memories of the site himself, as it’s where he met his wife Monika Volsing 13 years ago, when she worked behind the bar.

He said: “There are so many memories in those 20 years. I am totally proud that people are coming forward with their own memories and it’s quite touching to hear people’s personal stories.”

Richard, who is director of Futuresounds Events, also set up the famous Brighton Beach club night at The Cockpit.

Started in 1994, it played classic 60s Mod and soul tracks as well as celebrating the bands of the time and the emergence of Britpop. To mark its 20th anniversary, a special one-off Brighton Beach event will be held at The Wardrobe on Saturday, October 25 with some of the original DJs. Tickets cost £5 in advance from www.lunatickets.co.uk.

For more about The Cockpit, listen to the new YEP music podcast, which is available on Yorkshire Evening Post website now.

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