Rosie Doonan and Ben Murray

Live Review | The Salutation, Doncaster | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Rosie Doonan and Ben Murray are a rather special kind of duo who can rival anyone on the planet as far as their individual vocal (as well as close harmony) talents go.  It runs in the family I suppose.  Rosie comes from a long line of well-known Doonan folkies including her grandad the late John Doonan and her dad Mick Doonan, a well-known figure from the Seventies folk scene and member of the popular northern band Hedgehog Pie.  Ben’s dad Phil was also a member of Hedgehog Pie and is currently in the Doonan Family Band with Mick and so it’s very much a family affair.  Some of that raw talent has rubbed off onto young Rosie and Ben and they are currently creating a steadily growing following up and down the country.  Tonight the duo played a relaxed set, a few mistakes, a few moments of ‘what the hell’ but that could be down to the quiet and well behaved audience.  I suppose the hot sticky evening didn’t help, but having said all that, the gig was outstanding.  It was less polish granted, but a naturalistic performance is always more interesting.  I sensed a bit of sneering going on between the two musicians as well, creating more fun and games.  How often do you hear the female member of a duo whisper off mic “I fucking hate you” while the male tunes his guitar?  (Richard and Linda spring to mind – Ed).  Sharing duties on both piano and guitar, Rosie and Ben played just about all of their debut album including “Next Time”, “Innishcarra”, “Holding On”, “Gypsy Davy” and  “Seal Maiden”, which they in fact played twice, the second time as an encore because they had run out of material.  They need to get together, get more material and get noticed, soon.