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X-ray Touring’s Steve Strange dies

By | Published on Monday 27 September 2021

Steve Strange

Booking agent Steve Strange has died. He was 53.

In a statement on Saturday, X-ray Touring – the agency he co-founded in 2005 – said: “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”, it went on. “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”, it concluded. “He will always be remembered with love by his friends and colleagues at X-ray and the world over”.

Among those to pay tribute were Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Garbage, The Script, My Bloody Valentine, The Charlatans, Snow Patrol, Mark Lanegan, Kodaline and Ash, as well as many people from across the music industry.

Coldplay tweeted: “We are devastated by the news of our dear friend Steve Strange’s passing. A giant of the music industry and the cornerstone for so many bands’ and artists’ careers, including ours. Never afraid to talk straight and fight for his artists, you always heard him before you saw him and you knew you were in for a good evening”.

“We spent a bittersweet hour with him last week”, they added. “Despite his illness he was still taking calls and watching ticket counts. We send all our love to Steve’s friends and family and his colleagues at X-ray. We will miss you dear Steve, no doubt you are at The Aftershow to end them all”.

Among those on the industry side paying tribute was Head Of Worldwide Touring at the agency UTA, Neil Warnock, who said in a statement: “I can’t believe we have lost Steve Strange. He was an absolute icon in the world of music. He was a fan of all music genres who was at the top of his game. I’ve lost a true friend and the industry has lost a larger-than-life character.”.

Strange began his career in the music industry as a drummer in the band No Hot Ashes in the late 80s and early 90s. After the band’s split he moved to the industry side, and worked for a number of booking agencies – most notably Solo Agency and Helter Skelter. Then in 2005, he teamed up with Ian Huffam, Scott Thomas, Jeff Craft and Martin Horne to launch X-Ray Touring.