2 March 2023

Pulp’s bass guitarist, Steve Mackey, has died aged 56

Mackey joined Pulp in 1989 and was a part of the English rock band in their most successful 90s Britpop years.

Steve Mackey’s wife, Katie Grand, made the official announcement of his passing today on Instagram. “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.” she wrote. 

“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.”

Pulp paid tribute on their official Twitter account today, stating: “Our beloved friend and bass player Steve Mackey passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

They followed with a picture of Mackey walking through mountains, captioned: “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 in the Andes. So we did.”

Mackey first joined the band Pulp in 1989 alongside lead Jarvis Cocker, Russell Senior, Candida Doyle, Nick Banks, and Mark Webber. He took on their third album, Separations, and went on to record others like Different Class with the iconic Number 1 tune ‘Common People’ and His ‘n’ Hers which reached the UK Top 10. His final recording was an update of a demo called ‘After You’ in 2013. 

Pulp planned to do a set of reunion concerts this summer 2023, which Mackey announced he would not be joining them for in October of 2012.  He said, “I’m exceptionally proud of the body of work we’ve created together … however I’ve decided to continue the work I’m engaged in – music, filmmaking, and photography projects.”

As he attended the band’s reunion gigs, he also worked on his wife’s magazine Love, with his fashion photography and filmmaking skills. Also a producer, he worked with acts like The Kills and co-wrote songs for the likes of Florence + The Machine on their acclaimed album Lungs (2019). In 2017, the band was awarded an Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Song Collection. 

  • Writer Ella Chadwick
  • Banner Image Credit Instagram @steve__mackey

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