Songwriter and vocalist Raphael Doyle formed the acoustic harmony trio Café Society with his friends Hereward Kaye and Tom Robinson in 1973. The band quickly won a following on the London folk club circuit and a Tuesday night residency at The Troubadour folk club in Earl’s Court. There, they were discovered by Ray Davies of The Kinks who went on to produce their debut album, released in 1975.
In early 2016 Raphael began to have trouble gripping his plectrum at gigs, and after various tests he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. His son Louis and old friend Tom Robinson were keen to record a definitive Raphael Doyle album, but Raphael himself was reluctant to “make a record just for the sake of it” or for his health to become a dominant factor. But once the award-winning Anglo-Irish musician/producer Gerry Diver [Youth, Van Morrison, Christy Moore, Shane McGowan] offered to come on board, the whole project clicked into place.
The final record is titled Never Closer and became available on 27th January 2017.