Tributes pour in for Steve Mackey, Pulp bassist, who has died aged 56

Steve Mackey of Pulp performing in 2011
(Image credit: Gary Wolstenholme/Getty)

Pulp bassist Steve Mackey has died, aged 56, his wife Katie Grand confirmed on social media last night, and tributes have been pouring in from the world of music.

Steve was the most talented man I have ever known, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker

Katie Grand

"After three months in hospital, fighting with all his strength and determination, we are shocked and devastated to have said goodbye to my brilliant, beautiful husband, Steve Mackey," wrote Grant. 

"Steve died today, a loss which has left myself, his son Marley, parents Kath and Paul, sister Michelle and many friends all heartbroken. Steve was the most talented man I have ever known, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker. 

"As in life, he was adored by everyone whose paths he crossed in the multiple creative disciplines he conquered. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly for Steve. He will be missed beyond words."

Steve Mackey of the band Pulp performs during Day 1 of the 2012

(Image credit: John Shearer / Getty)

Mackey joined Pulp in 1989, playing on every studio album from 1992's Separations onwards and also built a successful production career. He co-wrote and produced songs on Florence + the Machine's smash hit debut album Lungs and worked with MIA, the Horrors, and Spiritualized, amongst others, as well as co-producing several tracks on Arcade Fire’s Everything Now alongside Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter. Latterly, he also developed another string to his bow, taking on fashion photography projects for brands like Miu Miu, Giorgio Armani, Moncler and Saint Laurent.

In tribute, Pulp's twitter account shared memories of 'a magical experience' the bassist had shared with the band.

“This photo of Steve dates from when Pulp were on tour in South America in 2012. We had a day off, and Steve suggested we go climbing... So we did. & it was a completely magical experience. Far more magical than staring at the hotel room wall all day (which is probably what we'd have done otherwise) 

"Steve made things happen. In his life & in the band. & We’d very much like to think that he’s back in those mountains now, on the next stage of his adventure.”

"Safe travels, Steve"

See more

Massive Attack paid tribute, sharing the lyric from a Pulp classic, Sorted For E's & Wizz: "‘And tell me when the spaceship lands ’cause all this has just got to mean something’."

Noel Gallagher added, "You were one of the good guys. Big Love," and Radiohead man Ed O'Brien shared memories of his first meeting with Mackey, "in 1995 at the height of Britpop.. Pulp were the cool, art school band of that time .. Radiohead were not cool at all …. 

"Needless to say we felt like the odd ones out and deeply uncomfortable.. Steve comes up to me and introduces himself and proceeds to tell me how much he and his girlfriend love the Bends.. REALLY loved the Bends .. he was completely enthusing over it and I could tell that they had connected with know he didn’t have to do that .. he was the High Priest of cool .. but he did and it meant the world..”

You can read more tributes from the likes of Supergrass drummer Danny Goofey, Sleaford Mods, fellow bassist Matt Osman of Suede and more below.

See more
See more
See more
See more
Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.