For anyone into music, The Cockpit has been the home of many memories for many years. As a teenager I remember saving all my money to attend as many gigs as I possibly could at The Cockpit. I remember meeting friends outside and then queuing for hours before a gig so we could get a good spot at the front of the crowd. Then once I became old enough to drink I spent every Tuesday and Saturday there. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to work there as a photographer for Slam Dunk from the age of 18, which has opened up many doors for my career and I have formed so many friendships while there.
The Cockpit was a little safe haven for me, I always knew everyone when I was there and I knew I'd be looked after if there was any situations. The Cockpit family brought me out of my shell, given me my confidence and brought some of the best memories I've ever had. It was a 'home' for us, yes it might have been a shit hole a lot of the time, but it was our shit hole. I will miss my vans sticking to the floor at the end of a night, the run down toilets that you avoiding using for as long as you could and the sweat dripping off the ceiling on those hot summer nights (NOT!) ha.
Below are a few photos of The Cockpit completely empty, not many people would have seen it like this. I took these for a University project:
I was probably at The Cockpit at least a couple of times a week, attending or photographing gigs and club nights. Most of you probably saw me turn up with a cup of tea or hot chocolate (ROCK N ROLL!) as those who know me know I rarely drink. I got to photograph and see some incredible bands at The Cockpit:
The Wonder Years, 2012
Tonight Alive, 2013
We Are The In Crowd, 2014
One of my favourite shows I've attended at The Cockpit has to be a recent one with an American band called Bad Rabbits, they are such a fun live band and their music just makes you want to dance:
Now, as sad as it is that The Cockpit is closing down, the good news is that Slam Dunk are opening a new venue, housing Slam Dunk and Garage club nights and also introducing a new club night Ignite which is to co-inside with our club night FUEL at Leeds Beckett SU (formerly Leeds Met SU - they've changed their name too!). This is exciting news for the music scene for Leeds, when everyone thought all hope was lost Slam Dunk comes to save the day.
I am looking forward to what is ahead, and I cannot wait to see what the team have planned and that I get to photograph it.
RIP Cockpit, roll on new times.
And of course, here are some embarrassing photos from The Cockpit: