KOCHI: When a band doesn’t have a setlist right before the show begins, you know they’re masters of the act. “We pick the songs after the soundcheck depending on the feel of the venue but end up not following it religiously. If the crowd is in high spirits, we raise the energy another bar,” says Rauf, the keyboardist of the blues-rock band Ministry of Blues.
Another intriguing fact about the band, who’ve been around for over-a-decade, is that hardly any of their recordings can be found online. But, you’ll thank your luck when you happen on their high-octane live shows from popular festivals and pubs around the country. Rauf engages in a phone conversation with us before their upcoming weekend gig in the city.
The four-piece outfit—also including guitarist Philipe Haydon, drummer David Boon, and bassist Ashley Joseph—regularly receives ovation for their aggressive blues-rock style covers of tracks like Muddy Waters’ Hoochie-Coochie Man. “We pick the songs finished by late blues musicians from early 1900s and do it our way. Sometimes we change the feel of the song or even add our own lines,” says Rauf.
Another piece of good news for enthusiasts of their live music—the band is preparing to shut themselves in the studio in an attempt to bring out a record by the end of next year. Planning to perform their originals like Nine-to-Five in the city, their word of advice for the younger generation who are gravitating more towards indie and heavy metal music is, “If you want to play blues, go fall in love and have your heart broken.”
At JTPAC on November 12