Bars and Nightclubs
Adelaide CBD, Adelaide


181 Hindley St, Adelaide SA
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Jive exudes a chilled out lounge vibe catering to music lovers, and every Saturday night after the bands it is the hippest night spot in town with Gosh! and Dig, where DJ Craig spins your favourite Indie and ‘60s tunes to keep you dancing ’til the wee hours. The bar is well stocked and much effort has gone into making sure the range of wines and spirits is high in quantity, rich in quality.

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Jive Review

Review by Josh Orken

Situated on the western end of Adelaide’s sinful strip Hindley Street, Jive is a mid-sized venue catering to a laid back Uni student crowd. Jive is regularly host to a bevy of live bands ranging from local up and comers to established international acts. Ranging from $5 to $50, the cover charge is determined by the band line-up, and there is always a DJ to fill in when the bands pack up and go somewhere else for a drink.

Upon entry, one is greeted by a large, sunken dance floor sandwiched beneath the bar and stage, with the majority of revellers congregating by the aforementioned bar and the dance floor. While the venue seems relatively large and open, there is still an air of intimacy, and the vibe is very relaxed and non-judgemental. You will see hipsters, you will see preppy jocks, you will see socially-inept engineering students, but you will not be judged.

The decor of Jive is suitable to that of a well-worn live venue, and a different colour seems to occupy each sector of the building, with one wall satirically depicting Adelaide’s cityscape. Ubiquitous gig posters are plastered over the walls at the entry where a few barrels serve as tables, but aside from this, the only seating on offer is a row of tastefully tattered vintage lounges straddling the dance floor. These serve as a nice place to relax and cosy up to a tired dance partner, but the supply and demand of seating is very much skewed to the latter. But you’re not here to sit, go and sway your curvaceous hips on the ample carpeted dance floor to the sounds of what I presume is the DJ’s best interpretation of the Triple J Indie playlist.

While some of my most interesting conversations have occurred waiting in line at the bar, Jive could really benefit from adding another bartender to up the service rate, as the bar area is quite small to service the venues comparatively large crowd. The prices aren’t overly offensive, around standard Adelaide prices, and the on-tap selection is limited to a few quality brews in Cooper’s Pale, Sparkling, Dark and Clear, as well as Hills Cider, all on offer for around $6 per 345ml plastic vessel. The standard selection of domestic and international beverages are available in the fridge and off the rack.

Jive lies adjacent fellow Indie haunt Supermild, juxtaposed with nearby metal-head haven Enigma and gangsta-rap club The Crib just down the street. I highly recommend spending a bit of time on the footpath outside people-watching; you will feel like you’ve been transported to a bizarre interpretation of a cliché American high school movie, such is the diversity of passing revellers.

While not pushing the boundaries, Jive is undoubtedly a worthwhile venue to visit, especially if you’re looking for a laid back, yet still party-driven atmosphere. For what it lacks in bells and whistles, Jive has an abundance of character. Remember, you’re in Adelaide, so be thankful for what you’ve been given.

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A Second Review of Jive

Review by Alice McKenzie

There’s no missing the obtrusive blue building. The Hindley streetscape doesn’t know what hit it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jive had gained some loyal patrons via pure curiosity of what this building would unleash. Exteriors aside, the venue has a seriously edgy vibe, and one step inside lets you know it straight away. An eclectic mix of grungy corrugated iron-clad fixtures, a dazzlingly bright colour palette and a regally curtained stage make for a night of fun and frivolity.

First impressions are important, but not as much as lasting ones; and one night at Jive delivers just that. Perhaps the stand-out essence of this place is the complete diversity which extends from the décor to the crowd. There is no rigid archetype of a Jive attendee. The sole criterion seems to be a deep love of music. That and a willingness to dance; those dragged along by friends and partners stick out like a sore thumb.

Saturday nights go off at Jive. Bands occupy the limelight until 11:30 when the worshipped DJ of Gosh! draws a real crowd. Music lovers congregate here to absorb the delicious indie tunes. He often plays homage to current festival line ups or bands in town which is a real hit. I had trouble making the trip from dance floor to bar before another favourite tune came on and I found myself running back empty handed.

When you finally do get to the bar, you won’t be horrified but you won’t be delighted. The drinks cost as much as any average club, although there are several offers going. However, the overall experience of the venue, including the modest $5 door fee, proves to be a winning deal and a regular haven for many. The late hours ensure that Jive is popular as a destination after earlier events, so drink after drink is not the main priority here.

Jive’s major venue points are gained via its regular live music performances. To whoever books the gigs: kudos. A steady stream of indie and not so indie bands slot this venue into their tours for intimate gigs, and with due reason. The hollow space provides incredible acoustics that are hard to surpass. The only shame in seeing a live act at Jive is that often the crowd size does no justice to the quality of the performance. A narrow upstairs area provides the ideal viewing platform for a second to none perspective of your favourite artist, and the sunken floor area makes sure all patrons have a clear view. It’s genius really.

Great tunes, fun vibe, no judgements. Jive is a favourite hands down.

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