SINGER Joe Cocker, who has died after losing his battle against cancer, was among a string of sixties musicians who became rock icons after appearing at Eastleigh’s Concorde Club.

The pop world is mourning the death of the 70 year-old Sheffield born blues singer, famous for his trademark raspy voice and wild hip gyrations on stage.

Cocker’s Concorde appearance in the sixties came as he shot to stardom with the cover of the Beatle’s song With A Little Help From My Friends.

Then the club, which is now based at Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh, was tucked into the back bar of the old Bassett Hotel in Burgess Road, Southampton.

Cocker made his mark there before going on to be a major influence on the rock and blues scene for more than half a century.

Paying tribute to the singer, Concorde boss Cole Mathieson remembered him as being a very magnetic performer Cole: “I am very saddened to hear of Joe’s death. He was a nice guy and I got on with him well. And in those days he probably played with other bands at the club.”

Former Beatle Paul McCartney hailed the former gas fitter as the greatest rock/soul singer to come out of Britain.

In a book chronicling the history of The Concorde, Cole tells how Cocker was among rock legends like Elton John, Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton who were unknowns when they played for him before going down the road to fame.

Daily Echo: Joe Cocker in concert

Shortly after hitting the big time With A Little Help From My Friends, Cocker and his Grease Band were headliners at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival.

Staged at Wootton with a 150,000 strong audience it became etched in pop history because topping the bill was American rock icon Bob Dylan, along with The Who, Free and The Moody Blues.

Among the A listers in the audience were John Lennon and Oko Ono, Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone Charlie Watts, Eric Clapton and Elton John.

In the same year Joe’s howling performance at the Woodstock Music Festival with his sweat-soaked curls flying as he rocked back and forth, made him a star in the US.

The soul star made nearly 40 albums and his other hits included You Are So Beautiful.

He was a master at putting the soul into other people’s songs.

His duet with Jennifer Warnes, Up Where We Belong - from An Officer And A Gentleman - hit number one and went on to win both a Grammy and an Academy Award in 1983.