Website - The Black Dyke Band

6-Jun-2001

www.blackdykeband.co.uk

For just about anyone with an interest in brass bands, the most famous band in the world is without doubt, Black Dyke.


Since 1855 they have won contests, titles, friends and followers with their unique appeal. They may not ever be described as being at the "cutting edge" but their appeal lies in the fact that they are the keepers of all that is good and traditional about the English brass band the uniform, the history, the wins and the fact that they don't compete at those new fangled "entertainment contests".

The website neatly reflects everything that Black Dyke stands for. It is a well put together package that has sections covering everything from news and merchandise to concert dates and their own appeal. It is a straightforward and unspectacular site to look at first glance, but there are many helpful tips from the main home page that includes details of how to make the most of the site as well as giving al the technical blurb to satisfy the most dedicated computer anorak.

Of the list of sections that comprise the site, the best are the merchandise, recordings and concert news/events. The merchandise page is well thought out and you can buy anything from a commemorative plate (22.10) and sweatshirt to a key fob and pen (2.10). Nice. The recordings section has the use of a Real Audio Player and Juke Box to listen to a variety of tracks from a full selection of CD's, whilst the concert calendar is excellent, and includes both details of dates, venue, contact numbers and even a hyperlink to the venue itself in many cases.

On the down side however is the pretty average news desk, which for a band that is as busy as Dyke is not really up to date and includes some fairly bland and not very interesting topics. This is a difficult area to keep up to date for any site, but by doing so it encourages more casual browsers to "dip" back into the site on a more regular basis if they know there is going to be something new on offer on a regular basis.

We also were disappointed with the inconsistencies on the site. There is a mixture of different fonts and font sizes used in the different sections and we thought it appeared a little dated with a plethora of dodgy backgrounds and clipart type graphics. An hours work or so looking at these issues would improve the site no end.

The player profiles are excellent for the main players, but it would be nice to know a little more about the others, although the quality of the photographs and graphics throughout the site is excellent. People are interested in knowing more about players honest!

The history of the band is well covered by Geoff Whiteley in a two part story and contact details are well set out and very clear. The Black Dyke appeal and sponsors page are also included and there are some neat ideas to raise some extra cash for the completion of their new bandroom and "Music Centre". However, the appeal seems to be going on for an extraordinary amount of time and only 60k of the 100k has been raised shades of the Millennium Dome come to mind.

Overall though a very good and well constructed site very much like the band itself and one that should and will be both a benefit financially and as a means of encouraging existing and new fans. If they could just make a bit more exciting to look at and give us a bit more about the band itself (rather than the administration) it will be a site well worth giving regular visits to.


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