IT'S been a great 2004 for one Worcester band who have played scores of gigs across the country to growing audiences, performed with ex-Smiths members - and even been tipped for the top.

And, the jelly and ice-cream will be out tonight as five-piece band And What Will Be Left Of Them? celebrate their first year together with a gig at Worcester's Marr's Bar.

To top it all off, the band are now jetting to Europe for a two-week tour at the beginning of next month, playing gigs in Holland, Germany and Austria.

"I think we're all obscenely excited about it really, especially with it being on the cusp of our first birthday," said guitarist and singer 'Blue Peter' - aka Pete Adams.

The group formed last January and also comprises 'Red White' - aka Lucy White - on vocals, Matt Pooler on keyboards; Chris Wemyss on drums and Toby Lunn on bass.

They all hail from Worcester and the surrounds and their musical CVs read like a Who's Who of city bands - with members having played for Alice Loves Picasso and A Way To Manchua, among others.

They all knew each other either from school or meeting within the city's music scene, and their first gig took place at the Marr's Bar.

"It was good although we were nervous the first time," said Pete.

Since their debut stage performance, the band has come on in leaps and bounds, having played about 40 gigs across the country, including London, Bath, Birmingham, Chelten-ham and Coventry.

Along the way they have supported the likes of Vinny Peculiar - which features Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke of The Smiths fame.

The band describe their sound as "synth-led pop and roll" and critics have drawn references to groups such as The B-52s, Bis and Carter USM.

And Marr's Bar manager Brian Marr - who plays with Worcester band Funky Skunk - even placed his bets on the group being the tip for the top in 2005 in the Evening News' musical review of 2004 last month.

"I think we were rather chuffed about that because the day the Evening News came out we were down the Marr's Bar and somebody showed it to us," said Pete.

"It was quite a nice little round off to the year - especially when everybody has been tipping the Lost Prophets."

As to the story behind their name, Pete said it was a reference to the tagline of the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

"Chris is quite into his horror movies. It's also a reference to the fact that if you've been playing in local bands for years you have a tendency to split up so it is kind of a joke like 'how long this one will last?'," he said.

"This is our first birthday and I don't think previously any of us have managed to keep a band together for that long."

Now the band are focusing on tonight's gig, which is a warm-up for their European tour.

On their return they hope to record a double A-side featuring their songs Hi-Fi Low Life and Four Years To Be An Artist.

Doors open for the Worcester gig at 8pm and tickets are £3 in advance or £5 on the door.