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JhbLive: Joburg Event, Band And Venue Reviews

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

While jolling the Internet, it’s not often that you come across a site that not only offers you enough reviews to make you swoon, but smacks you in the face with a stunning visual style and blazing heaps of images and colours. Overtone takes a brief look at JHBLive.com, the premiere portal for nightlife, listings and events in Johannesburg.

The first and most refreshing theme of JHBLive is the emphasis on local culture, or ‘kultcha’. An informal take on gig searching is the dropdown menu for events in and around JHB with options for ‘come as you are’, ‘make an effort’ and ‘look your best’. Unfortunately, the functionality of the search device is compromised, as very few of the gig listings fulfil any but the most specific of the three categories. In other words, it’s tougher to find what you’re looking for than the standard search bar at the top of the page, and serves as more of a gimmick.

The site’s main categories are nightlife, galleries, kultcha, art and reviews. Nightlife features the hottest upcoming events, but only one per night. Galleries of the Johannesburg live music scene are abundant, and redirect to the front page with a ‘random image’ widget. Kultcha features some awesome, informative and colourful feature writing about the daily life of a Johannesburg clubber. Art is more of a focus on artists, and a pair of upcoming events is also listed. Finally, reviews takes a look at restaurants, venues, DJs and bands in focus.

The site also offers the opportunity for journalists to write about Egoli happenings.

As mentioned, this is a classic place for any Joburger to stop by for a dose of original, homegrown writing. There’s no shortage of album, game, book and film reviews. But the trophy is the event reviews, which are surprisingly recent (up to a mere two days’ lag – smashing turnaround time for an independent South African website), and comments rekindle the spirit of the party.

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JoeBlog: JHB Music And Events Listings Guide

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Joeblog.co.za is a heaven-sent for those in Joburg CBD looking for the evening’s events listings. Overtone takes a brief look at this simple, uncluttered listings site.

Just a few pages make Joeblog, the “Johannesburg Events Weblog”, easy to navigate, and thanks to some niche search engine optimization wizardry, the site ranks highly when searching Google for ‘events listings’, ‘johannesburg’ and the like. Averaging between seven and twenty gigs a day, it’s fair to say that Joeblog is the closest thing South Africa’s most populous city has to a comprehensive gig guide.

The site contains just a few pages for navigation, offering users the option to add an event, contact, peruse the articles and venues, and find out more about Joeblog. Sporting an 8-bit/pixelated black and white look-and-feel, as well as a prominent search bar, Joeblog is a listings site worth checking out. An RSS feed makes embedding the latest gig listings a really simple matter.

Keep an eye on Overtone for more South African website and industry reviews.

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