Pete McKee

Artist — Sheffield

Name, where are you from?
Pete McKee, Sheffield.

Describe your style in three words?
On the waterfront.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Arcade Fire at the Leadminll, - Track 'Wake Up'. Their first album 'Funeral' had just come out and I couldn't understand why everyone was saying they were a great live band. Then I went to the gig and from the first note of wake up, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I had a smile on my face from that first song to the last. I even managed to give one of the guys a sweaty hug after he staged dived off the stage during the last song.

Which other illustrators inspire your work?
Herge, Hopper, Patrick Caulfield, Vermeer, Reg Smythe, Leo Baxendale, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes and Norman Rockwell. 

Which subcultures have influenced you?
I am influenced by all subcultures, I love that dress codes matter, how high the turn up is, what shirt you wear, what shoes are on your feet. All these things are important and the visual aspect is very inspiring to me. I went from ska to mod to indie myself, all with their own dress codes that have affected my wardrobe, throughout my life.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
I'm going to say Tom Waits. I know it would be an hour of awkward silence, but to me, he is a true genius I love his unwavering belief in his own work and his ability to reinvent himself with every album. He is a living work of art. The track I would pick is Kentucky avenue, every line in this song is a story in its own right.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
We (The Everly Pregnant Brothers) have just played The 100 Club in London. It was awesome to have played such a historic venue but the Leadmill in Sheffield holds a great place in my heart as it is where I saw all the best gigs. So to play on that stage had a huge honour.


Legendary South Yorkshire artist, Pete McKee, has today revealed the details of a new exhibition for 2018, two years since his last show.

‘This Class Works’ is set to be an exploration and celebration of the working class. Different to anything he has done before, the exhibition will be a collaboration between Pete and fellow artists, filmmakers and photographers who share an affinity for the UK’s working class.

The exhibition will be on display from 14-29 July 2018 at 92 Burton Road, a huge warehouse space in Pete’s hometown of Sheffield.

Find out more about ‘This Class Works’ here and at www.thisclassworks.com

The first track you played on repeat?
'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us' - Sparks

A song that defines the teenage you?
‘Be Stiff’ - Devo

One record you would keep forever?
'Liberty Bell And The Black Dimond Express' - The Go-Betweens

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"To Be Someone Must Be A Wonderful Thing"
'To Be Someone (didn't we have a nice time)' - The Jam

A song you wished you had written?
'The Look Of Love' - Bert Bacharach and Hal David

Best song to turn up loud?
'Sabotage' - Beastie Boys

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Tight Up' - Nadia Rose

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'Temptation Is Hard To Fight' - George Mcgregor & The Bronzettes

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
Self Esteem, The Moonlandingz, Nick Hakim, Moses Sumney.

Name, where are you from?
Pete McKee, Sheffield.

Describe your style in three words?
On the waterfront.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Arcade Fire at the Leadminll, - Track 'Wake Up'. Their first album 'Funeral' had just come out and I couldn't understand why everyone was saying they were a great live band. Then I went to the gig and from the first note of wake up, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I had a smile on my face from that first song to the last. I even managed to give one of the guys a sweaty hug after he staged dived off the stage during the last song.

Which other illustrators inspire your work?
Herge, Hopper, Patrick Caulfield, Vermeer, Reg Smythe, Leo Baxendale, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes and Norman Rockwell. 

Which subcultures have influenced you?
I am influenced by all subcultures, I love that dress codes matter, how high the turn up is, what shirt you wear, what shoes are on your feet. All these things are important and the visual aspect is very inspiring to me. I went from ska to mod to indie myself, all with their own dress codes that have affected my wardrobe, throughout my life.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
I'm going to say Tom Waits. I know it would be an hour of awkward silence, but to me, he is a true genius I love his unwavering belief in his own work and his ability to reinvent himself with every album. He is a living work of art. The track I would pick is Kentucky avenue, every line in this song is a story in its own right.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
We (The Everly Pregnant Brothers) have just played The 100 Club in London. It was awesome to have played such a historic venue but the Leadmill in Sheffield holds a great place in my heart as it is where I saw all the best gigs. So to play on that stage had a huge honour.


Legendary South Yorkshire artist, Pete McKee, has today revealed the details of a new exhibition for 2018, two years since his last show.

‘This Class Works’ is set to be an exploration and celebration of the working class. Different to anything he has done before, the exhibition will be a collaboration between Pete and fellow artists, filmmakers and photographers who share an affinity for the UK’s working class.

The exhibition will be on display from 14-29 July 2018 at 92 Burton Road, a huge warehouse space in Pete’s hometown of Sheffield.

Find out more about ‘This Class Works’ here and at www.thisclassworks.com

The first track you played on repeat?
'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us' - Sparks

A song that defines the teenage you?
‘Be Stiff’ - Devo

One record you would keep forever?
'Liberty Bell And The Black Dimond Express' - The Go-Betweens

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"To Be Someone Must Be A Wonderful Thing"
'To Be Someone (didn't we have a nice time)' - The Jam

A song you wished you had written?
'The Look Of Love' - Bert Bacharach and Hal David

Best song to turn up loud?
'Sabotage' - Beastie Boys

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Tight Up' - Nadia Rose

Best song to end an all-nighter on?
'Temptation Is Hard To Fight' - George Mcgregor & The Bronzettes

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
Self Esteem, The Moonlandingz, Nick Hakim, Moses Sumney.

'5.15' by Pete McKee which appears in the 'This Class Works' exhibition.

Pete McKee Print Gallery

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