Steve Mackey, Long-Time Bassist for Pulp, Passes Away at 56

On March 2nd, 2021, Steve Mackey, the long-time bassist for the iconic Britpop group Pulp, passed away at the age of 56. His wife Katie Grand shared the news via his Instagram page, saying that he had been in the hospital for three months with an undisclosed illness.[0] Cocker confirmed the news on Instagram, writing, “Our beloved friend & bass player Steve Mackey passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family & loved ones.”

Mackey joined Pulp in 1989, contributing to their third album Separations and playing on all of the band’s subsequent albums.[1] He was an in-demand remixer and producer who worked with the likes of M.I.A., Florence and the Machine, and the Arcade Fire, with Mackey serving as co-producer on the latter’s 2017 LP Everything Now.[2]

Outside of music, Mackey had a cameo in 2005 as one of The Weird Sisters, a fictional rock band in the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.[3] In addition, Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway of Radiohead, as well as Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, were also part of the group.[4]

After splitting in 2002, Mackey joined Pulp's reunion tour from 2011 to 2013.[5] In October of last year, he declared that he would not be participating in the reunion concerts of the band in 2023.[5] In 2017, they received an Ivor Novello Award in recognition of their outstanding song collection.[6]

Mackey’s wife, stylist Katie Grand, wrote of him: “We are shocked and devastated to have said goodbye to my brilliant, beautiful husband Steve Mackey. He was the most talented man I knew, 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.”[7]

In honor of the bassist, Massive Attack shared a black and white image of him with a beaming smile and cited a line from the Britpop group's 1995 song “Sorted For E's & Wizz”.[8] “Our thoughts are with his family & loved ones. Safe travels, Steve. We hope to catch up with you one day. All our love xx,” they wrote.[9]

0. “Pulp Bassist Steve Mackey Dead At 56” Stereogum, 2 Mar. 2023,

1. “Steve Mackey, bass guitarist for Pulp, dies aged 56” The Guardian, 2 Mar. 2023,

2. “Steve Mackey, Bassist for the British Rock Band Pulp, Dead at 56” PEOPLE, 2 Mar. 2023,

3. “Pulp Basisst Steve Mackey Dies At 56”, 2 Mar. 2023,

4. “Steve Mackey | Pulp bassist passes away at 56” whynow, 2 Mar. 2023,

5. “Steve Mackey, Pulp Bassist, Dead at 56” Consequence, 2 Mar. 2023,

6. “MIA and Arcade Fire lead tributes to Pulp bassist Steve Mackey following death” Evening Standard, 3 Mar. 2023,

7. “Pulp bassist Steve Mackey dead aged 56 as band mourn Britpop legend | HeraldScotland” HeraldScotland, 2 Mar. 2023,

8. “Pulp bassist Steve Mackey dies aged 56” BBC, 2 Mar. 2023,

9. “Pulp Bassist Steve Mackey Dies at 56” Billboard, 2 Mar. 2023,

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