The Cockpit closure: The changing face of Leeds’s music scene

Infrasound on stage at The Cockpit.

Infrasound on stage at The Cockpit.

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Leeds has played host to the likes of The Beatles, U2, The Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, Queen and David Bowie over the decades.

But in recent years the city’s live music scene has changed immensely.

The eagerly-anticipated First Direct Arena finally opened its doors last year, offering more mainstream acts another venue in the city.

Shortly after, the Belgrave Music Hall exploded onto the scene in October 2013, snapping up hundreds of acts to play on its stage.

The ever-popular Brudenell Social Club continues to thrive and the annual Leeds Festival continues to bring global stars to Bramham Park every year.

But we’ve had to say goodbye to places like Joseph’s Well, which closed in 2012, and The Queen’s Hall on Swinegate, which closed in 1989 despite its impressive record of attracting groups such as The Clash, The Jam and Duran Duran.

Echo and the Bunnymen, Blur and INXS were among the acts who strutted their stuff at Cookridge Street’s Town & Country Club until its demise in 2000. It is now the O2 Academy Leeds.

Meanwhile the Fforde Grene’s glory days as a venue for shows by the likes of the Stones and the Pistols had long gone by the time a drugs raid closed it down in 2004.

Best known of all, perhaps, was the Duchess of York – an unassuming pub on Vicar Lane that welcomed a stellar collection of performers through its doors.

Nirvana, Oasis, Pulp, Radiohead and The Verve all played at the Duchess before it closed in 2000.

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