Steve Mackey (November 10, 1966 – March 2, 2023) was born Stephen Patrick Mackey and was an English musician and record producer best known as the bass guitarist for the alternative rock band Pulp, which he joined in 1989. As a record producer, he produced songs and albums by M.I.A., Florence + the Machine, The Long Blondes and Arcade Fire.
Steve Mackey was born in Sheffield, England and attended Hucklow First and Middle Schools with friend Richard Hawley, who he later played with as members of Pulp. He went to Hinde House Comprehensive in Sheffield before undertaking further studies at Richmond College of Further Education.
Before joining Pulp, Steve Mackey played bass for another Sheffield band called Trolley Dog Shag, who were featured alongside Pulp on a Dolebusters compilation album in 1987.
In 1988, Steve Mackey moved to London to pursue an interest in film-making and graduated from London’s Royal College of Art, in 1992.
Steve Mackey joined Pulp in 1989, he played on “Separations”, released on Fire Records, and continued to write, record and tour with the band as they found success in the 1990s. Subsequent albums recorded included “Intro – The Gift Recordings” in 1993, “His ‘n’ Hers” in 1994, “Different Class” in 1995, “This Is Hardcore” in 1998 and “We Love Life” in 2001.
From 2003 to 2008 Steve Mackey co-curated the music program of London’s annual Frieze International Art Fair which included performances from Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sunn O))), Glenn Branca, and Rodney Graham.
In 2005 Steve Mackey played a cameo role in the film of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” as one of “The Weird Sisters”, rock band which also featured Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway of Radiohead and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker.
In 2006, Steve Mackey and Jarvis Cocker curated an acclaimed 2 CD Compilation called “The Trip” featuring music from various eras including Moondog, Carl Orff, The Birthday Party, The Fall and the theme to Radio 4’s Shipping Forecast.
Steve Mackey worked on “The Long Blondes” debut album “Someone to Drive you Home” in November 2006 and produced and co-wrote songs for “Florence and the Machine’s” debut album “Lungs”, which was released on 6 July 2009 , including “Kiss With a Fist”, “Girl With One Eye” and ” Swimming”.
During this period Steve Mackey also continued to record and tour with Jarvis Cocker. In 2006 for he worked on Cocker’s debut solo album for Rough Trade Records, “Jarvis” which was released in the UK on 13 November 2006, and again in 2008 recording the album “Further Complications” at Electrical Studios in Chicago with Steve Albini, which was released on 18 May 2009.
In 2009, Steve Mackey married his longtime girlfriend, stylist and fashion journalist, Katie Grand. They lived in North London with their son, Marley who was born in 1996.
After an 8-year hiatus Steve Mackey returned to activity with Pulp in 2010 and their subsequent world tours in 2011 and 2012 and the release of their single “After You” in 2013, working with producer James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.
In 2011 Mackey produced Summer Camp’s “Welcome to Condale” album and in 2012 he again worked as producer for Palma Violets debut album on Rough Trade Records, “180” which was released in February 2013. Also in 2012 he was produced “Railroad Track” by Willy Moon released on Jack White’s Third Man Records.
In 2012 Mackey played with drummer Seb Rochford as rhythm section for tracks on Serafina Steers “The Moths are Real” LP.
In 2014 he recorded and mixed for Dean Blunts “Black Metal” album and in 2015 began working with Yak, recording their single “No” released on Third Man. He mixed Danny Goffey of Supergrass “Take Your Jacket Off and Get into It ” LP. Yaks “Alas Salvation ” LP was recorded with him during the rest of 2015 and released in early 2016.
In 2016 Steve Mackey began the “Call This Number” guerrilla TV project with Jeannette Lee formerly of “Public Image Ltd.” and Douglas Hart, former bassist of the “Jesus and Mary Chain”, making erratic film broadcasts from a North London garage. Artists he recorded for this included Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Dennis Bovell, Sleaford Mods, Primal Scream, and Gruff Rhys.
In 2017 Steve Mackey was awarded an Ivor Novello Award along with the other members of Pulp for Outstanding Song Collection.
Steve Mackey has also worked with John Gosling, formerly of Psychic TV, as a music director and sound designer creating mixes and original compositions for films, museums and other commercial projects including work for the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Louvre Paris, and the Minsheng Art Museum Shangha.
Before his death, Steve Mackey had announced that he would not be part of Pulp’s 2023 reunion tour.
Steve Mackey died on March 2, 2023 at the age of 56.
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