Two months after celebrating his 65th birthday with family and friends at home in Saltburn, our dear friend Raphael Doyle passed away quietly in his sleep at Teesside Hospice in the early hours of Friday 30 March 2018.


Raphael Doyle left County Antrim for England – where he was discovered by blues legend Alexis Korner and formed a teenage musical partnership with Tom Robinson. The pair subsequently teamed up with Hereward Kaye and formed Café Society, whose debut album was produced by Ray Davies of The Kinks.

After four decades of what he describes as “a messy life” – and a diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease early in 2016 – Raphael and his youngest son Louis Doyle began work on the collaborative album they’d always dreamed of making.

Currently being funded via a PledgeMusic campaign, the record is titled Never Closer after a poem by Seamus Heaney.  The project saw Raphael and Louis working with virtuoso Irish musician and producer Gerry Diver – and additional help from Daniel Moyler at Miloco Studios and legendary mastering engineer Barry Grint.

The first piece to emerge is Raphael’s unflinchingly honest eight minute poem “I Come From Ireland“. The music has been composed and produced by Gerry in his trademark style first heard on his award-winning Speech Project in 2012.

“I Come From Ireland” is now available as an instant download for everyone who pre-orders the album via Raphael’s PledgeMusic page:

Raphael Doyle on TwitterRaphael Doyle on SoundcloudRaphael Doyle on FacebookRaphael Doyle on YouTubeRaphael Doyle on InstagramContact Raphael Doyle