Chris Blythyn, lead singer with Route 22. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

L.S. Media Rating ****

Wirral band Route 22 have all the right attributes and dedication to succeed, what is more impressive is the way, that on a night of supporting the supports at the o2 Academy, Liverpool, the four members of the band did it in front of an audience that had already spent their energy watching the previous group on offer and were now resting away from the stage.

There are a lot of bands that could have folded under the pressure of that but the members of Route 22, Clayton Phoenix on bass, Chris Blythyn on vocals, Joel Hitchcow on drums and Jamie Holleron on guitar have all the guile and personality to let such things bother them and by such process of musical perseverance allowed the band to give an excellent account of themselves and their music.

Route 22 opened their set with the song Bad Girlfriend and Not Alone and even though the set was just over half an hour long by the time the music came to end, the audience had more that enlarged and were soon taken by the ability and engaging style of the group.

Even with a couple of covers thrown into the mix, the band did more than enough to qualify them as a highlight of the support band circuit in Liverpool. Part of this was in no small effort by the overall playing ability of the four members, they cajoled, sparked and played out of their skins to prove they were worth listening to and to all those that made the effort to listen to them were rewarded with some very good and original music.

Route 22 finished a very good night, despite some setbacks, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers track, Snow.

Route 22 perform again at the o2 Academy on the 20th July and they are well worth the entrance fee.

Ian D. Hall