Set in the heart of the city, The Cockpit has been undoubtedly the stand out venue for years.
The independently run live music venue is situated a stone's throw away from the train station and is managed by locally based promoters, FutureSound Music. FutureSound have done welll in arranging gigs and competitions for the local residents over the years. After after another successful competition this summer, Cockpit is still going from strength-to-strength; winners this summer were 'Post War Glamour Girls', who went on to play the NME Stage at Leeds Festival.
Cockpit was opened in 1994 and since then some of the biggest names in music have played the venue, including The White Stripes, My Chemical Romance, The Libertines, The Killer... the list is simply endless. Inside has three rooms for different types of bands to play in but they all share the same intimacy as one another, with the main room holding up to 500 people. Club nights take place from Tuesday to Saturday with Slam Dunk being the main night each week, every week.
The people at the Cockpit take pride in producing nights that allow local artists to play and during the week you can pay on the door and see some great unsigned music. Check the website for details.
I've seen a good 20 bands there and the night has always delivered. The intimate gigs are always the best and the Cockpit is
one of the best to enjoy that feeling. Most bands agree that playing smaller gigs are the best so they can interact with the crowd and The Cockpit certainly gives you that opportunity.
So then, price? Well tickets vary, depending on the act you want to see. Bands/artists are either up and coming or a little gem that's been around a few years, so expect to pay anything from £5 to £20.
I advise you to get yourself down and see some real music playing throughout the year.