FROM the moment dozens of Flint flags were unfurled by the band's fans in a packed Fibbers last night, it was obvious who was going to win this heat of Battle of the Bands.

But although it is Flint who will carry their banner into the semi-finals of the competition, it was four-piece band Knee Deep which claimed the moral victory.

It was always going to be a tough heat between two bands which had sailed through their first round heats and it was sheer fan numbers which saw Flint through. But not without controversy.

Rosco, Knee Deep's frontman, is a singer who embodies what modern punk is all about.

Blessed with an amazing voice, the guy has a menacing stage presence and the authority to carry off the attitude.

Any punk outfit which can cover an S Club 7 track and not look like a bunch of idiots, but carry it off, deserve a pat on the pack.

Knee Deep delivered a set full of energy and promise and deserved a better reward.

By comparison, Flint, who in any other setting would have been marvellous and who gave a commendable performance, seemed contrived and artificial - even down to the almost rehearsed stage dive which marked the end of their set.

Flint look the part. Indeed, the size of lead guitarist Rossini Pornostar's Mohican needs to be seen to be believed.

But in the end, it was not a Battle of the Bands, but a battle of "how many mates we can get down to Fibbers to vote for us".

Take nothing away from the performance of Flint, who will do well in the latter stages of the competition, but Knee Deep were the worthy "winners" and the disappointed faces in their camp - when the result was announced - told a thousand stories.

For Manydown, the third band on the bill, their set will prove to be a learning experience.

They overcame a shaky start, after a few technical problems, and should be commended for a superb rocked-up cover of Natalie Imbruglia's Torn.

It was one of the real highlights of the night.