The IMI 27th Sep 2021

Tributes pour in after X-ray Touring's Steve Strange passes

"A universally known, hugely respected and loved character - if you hadn’t already seen him at a gig or festival, you’d most certainly hear his infectious and infamous laugh."

The music business mourned the loss of much-loved live agent Steve Strange over the weekend, after it was announced that the X-ray Touring founding partner had passed away following a short illness.

A post on the X-ray Touring Facebook page on September 25 paid tribute to Strange, calling him “a legendary figure in our personal and professional lives”.

The statement read: “X-ray Touring are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Strange, one of the founding partners of the agency, has passed away after a short illness.
“We have lost a legendary figure in our personal and professional lives that we will all deeply miss.
“Steve was a unique individual within our industry, his overwhelming love of music lead to a 30 year plus career guiding the touring of an eclectic mix of artists from all genres of music that he adored.
“A universally known, hugely respected and loved character – if you hadn’t already seen him at a gig or festival, you’d most certainly
hear his infectious and infamous laugh.
“Steve had the best ears in the agency business, signing and developing the careers of countless world class artists from small club venues to vast international multi-stadium tours.
“He will always be remembered with love by his friends & colleagues at X-ray and the world over.”
The Limelight venue in Belfast, where Strange spent his early years in the business, posted a similar message on Twitter, saying, “Steve was a titan of the global music industry, an unsung hero, and a fantastic and loyal friend to this venue and to Northern Ireland’s music community for more than 40 years… A huge, unforgettable character.”
Some of the big names that Strange worked with over the course of his career include Coldplay, Eminem, Snow Patrol, Queen Of The Stoneage, Ash and many more.
Artists and executives alike took to social media to share their memories and grief following the news.
“All the love and outpourings for Steve Strange today are so beyond deserved. Our little world has lost a wonderful, smart, passionate and hilarious human.” Clare Maxwell, Concord Music UK
“RIP one of the true gentlemen and truly pioneering agents of the modern music game. Steve Strange was one of the true good guys. He will be missed by so many. Thoughts with his family and closest friends. Irreplaceable. Belt out Mustang Sally wherever you are my friend.” Tim Vigon, artist manager
“Rest in the music dear Steve Strange. Fine promoter and a great friend to musicians around the globe. You will be missed sir.” Garbage
“Steve Strange, our agent of 24 years has died. He had a fierce, ridiculous love of music. He was always happy to be as silly as us and he didn’t fucking care. He was always in the moment with us. Everything our industry so often is not. We all loved him. Bye mate x” Tom Gray, Gomez/Ivors Academy
“Shocked by the news that Steve Strange has passed away. He was a very passionate and dedicated agent who we’d booked many artists from over the years for BD. He’ll be greatly missed in the industry. Condolences to all at X-Ray and to his family and friends.” DMF Music
“Oh man, we’ve lost Steve Strange. He was such a genuine, enthusiastic, warm man. 52 is nothing We mourn a legend. RIP.” Andy Saunders, Velocity Communications
“Our hearts are broken. Goodnight Mr. Steve Strange. Agent extraordinaire. The heart of a lion. Straight outta Carrick, he changed this business forever. Our force. Our constant source. Our Shining Light. Miss you like crazy Strangey.” Ash
“I’m heartbroken. RIP Steve Strange x one my best friends for over 30 years & agent to the stars has, after a short illness, tragically passed away. Condolences and love to his daughter Saskia! Can’t believe I won’t ever hear his infectious laugh again.” Donald C MacLeod MBE