MOST semi-finals come in twos, but at Fibbers they like to go one better than everyone else.

So last night saw the first of three semi-finals in the 2002 Evening Press/Fibbers Battle of the Bands competition.

The place was pretty well filled, considering that most of the audience was made up of teenagers, who surely have a few A-level exams to think about.

But securing a place in this year's finals obviously took top priority, and first up were Coma, a four-piece hailing from Joseph Rowntree Schoolwho had clearly spent plenty of time swotting up for the evening's competition.

Their rendition of Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine was impressive as always - nifty fingerwork required and delivered from guitarists Adam Findlay and Dominic Wells.

Primadonna was a great track and went down well, although that could have been because of a certain similarity to band-of-the-moment The Hives' current single.

Voices were a bit croaky and needed some fine tuning, but with two of the band suffering from glandular fever it was amazing they managed to pull off the robust Wasted at the end of the set.

Next up were the awesome Finger Puppets with their mix of powerful glam rock and a dash of Goth thrown in.

Lead singer Esme Walker was the only female on stage, but wow, did she make up for it.

Her stadium-filler voice and huge stage presence whipped the crowd into a frenzy and impressed plenty, and their end track, Blast From The Past, certainly got my vote for the night.

Described as an 1980s glam hit, they've only just got round to writing - it fitted right in with the kind of glam rock you thought songwriters had stopped turning out these days.

Last band Peachie had a tough job following on from the accomplished Finger Puppets.

A shaky start showed a few nerves, but as the foursome pulled themselves together things were looking better.

There's something very Charlatans-esque about them, but even the dazzling guitarwork was just not enough.

It was a close-run thing, but there was only one space in the final.

The fabulous Finger Puppets got my vote - they didn't win.

The enjoyable Peachie got the secret panel's vote - they didn't win either.

At the end of the day the audience vote enabled Coma to forge ahead to the finals.

Only A-level revision, glandular fever and two more bands stand between them and the title.