The Cockpit opened in 1994, before which it was the "Cock of the North" pub. At that time the pub was separate from the venue in the same way as the bar is separate from the venue today.
Bands to have played the venue include Rancid, Reef, Placebo, Kula Shaker, Mansun, Embrace, Death in Vegas, Feeder, Backyard Babies, Elastica, Bloodhound Gang, Less than Jake, New Model Army, The Music, White Stripes, The Hives, Korn, At The drive in, Cornershop, Shed 7, Paradise Lost, Ash, Sugar Ray, Mercury Rev, Boy George, Top Loader, Cast... and many more.
The Cockpit also features bands at the grass root level with a number of unsigned nights as well as encouraging local unsigned acts to play with established artists.
The Cockpit announced its closure, after twenty years of operation, in September 2014.