Tributes paid to Sheffield bassist, producer and photographer, Steve Mackey

Musicians have paid tribute to Sheffield-born Pulp bassist Steve Mackey who died on Thursday, aged 56. 

Bands including the Pet Shop Boys remembered their time with the musician who lived in the city until his teenage years.

Mackey’s wife, Katie Grand, confirmed the news over social media on Thursday stating: “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.” 

Mackey had suffered from an undisclosed illness.

He was born on 10 November 1966 in Sheffield. He attended Hinde House School and Richmond College in the city before moving to London to study film at the Royal College of Art.

He joined Pulp in 1989 after being invited by fellow Sheffield native: Jarvis Cocker. He played with the band on five albums including the commercial success of Different Class (1995). While remaining with the band until their 2012 tour, Mackey announced he would not be returning to tour with them on their forthcoming 2023 reunion tour. 

Pulp posted a statement on their official social media pages sharing anecdotes of their 2012 tour in which Steve suggested the band climb through the Andes between tour dates while referring to him as “our beloved friend”. 

While working with Pulp, Mackey also worked as a talented producer, photographer and filmmaker. Working with artists such as Massive Attack, Deadletter Florence and the Machine as well as brands including Miu Miu and Georgio Armani, many took the time to pay tribute to him online.

The Pet Shop Boys joined other bands in describing their time with the musician. They said: “He was a warm, friendly, creative musician and artist, and it was always a delight to encounter him.” 

Mackey constantly came back to his roots through working with other Sheffield artists and confirming his pride for his hometown. Mackey previously said: ”Everyone in Pulp knows the records wouldn’t have been made without coming from Sheffield.”

Sheffield DJ Toddla T said: “Authenticity was Steve’s thing,” while thanking him and sending love to his family.

In her statement, Mackey’s wife said: “Steve died today, a loss which has left myself, his son Marley, parents Kath and Paul, sister Michelle and many friends all heartbroken.”

She also thanked NHS staff and asked for privacy for the family at this time

Our main picture shows Mackey with Jarvis Cocker outside Magna in Rotherham in 2002. Image courtesy of The Star.

Written by Erin Morris

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