Website-banner-1@Newcastle Think Tank, September 11 2014

Dean Foxx is the type of pedal-to-the-metal frontman who doesn’t really care whether his band is belting out brilliant 80s-style anthems in front of 50 or 50,000 – he’s a 100% kinda guy who sees every show as an opportunity to rock out. And rock hard. 

In truth his polished band, Knock Out Kaine, belong in far bigger venues than Think Tank’s Digital although the size of a disappointing midweek crowd would have you believe otherwise.

That the Ladyboys Of Bankok drew a far bigger crowd across the square remains one of the 21st century’s biggest mysteries. Given the choice between drag queens and rock gods, hundreds of Geordie punters made a catastrophic wrong turn.

But a half-empty hall didn’t bother Foxx and his buddies one bit. From the off their intoxicating blend of big choruses, anthemic hooks and party attitude proved the future’s bright for homegrown rock.

Newly signed to Rocksector Records – and with another album due to drop next spring – KOK are on a roll. Royally warmed up by local heroes Wildthorn and The Raging Sickness, the headliners rattled through a raucous set that mixed some serious musicianship with more light-hearted moments.

Foxx is no lazy shoegazer and whether behind his oversized shades or staring straight into the eyes of the band’s biggest fans his energy and enthusiasm encapsulates a band built on the old-school ethos of entertainment first.

Lashings of legendary Sunset Strip excess fuelled a cracking version of Little Crystal while go-to ballad Coming Home evoked memories of Poison and Cinderella at their MTV-styled peak.

Jimmy Bohemian’s slick and understated axe work proved to be the perfect foil for Foxx’s flamboyance – the duo wrapping up KOK’s beaming fans in a bubble of retro goodness.

Catch this band in the flesh one day and you’ll be bemused as to why they aren’t blazing a trail for the best in British rock. By then they may well be.

Simon Rushworth