RISING from a battle of the bands competition at Bromsgrove's Market Hall to fronting one of Britain's brightest up and coming groups may seem like an overnight success story.

But for Fyfe Hutchins, better known to music fans as Fyfe Dangerfield, singer and songwriter of multi-instrumental pop quartet Guillemots, it was eight years of determination and a burning passion for music that finally made it all possible.

Former Bromsgrove School pupil Fyfe made his name on the Midlands music circuit in the 1990s with Senseless Prayer, which he formed with three school friends.

He lived in Fockbury Road in Dodford for ten years before moving to Cheltenham at the age of 18.

"I remember with Senseless Prayer, playing a battle of the bands at the Market Hall in 1998 and not winning," said Fyfe.

"We didn't have much of a following then."

Fyfe recalls how Bromsgrove provided him with some of his fondest memories as a teenager, and even helped form his retro rock n' roll appearance.

"I have some of the nicest memories of being a teenager in Bromsgrove, like sitting in Sanders Park with my friends at night time, drinking vodka out of a bottle, being a typical teenager.

"And there was the playing fields at Aston Fields and me and the other band members used to hang out there with our girlfriends a lot in the summer. I also discovered the world of second hand clothing in Bromsgrove. There were loads of second hand shops in the town centre back then."

After a chance meeting and a live session with Radio 1 legend John Peel, who Fyfe remembers was the nicest man in the world', Senseless Prayer decided they had run out of steam.

London beckoned for Fyfe, where, determined to fulfill his musical dream, he formed Guillemots.

"I wanted to get to the biggest city possible to form a band, and we just met by chance," he said.

The band released their debut album Through The Windowpane in July, and it has sold nearly 100,000 copies, as well as being nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

It is set to be released around the world later this year. The album, described by Fyfe as "pop as imagined in a dream", includes several songs which go back as far as his Senseless Prayer days.

Despite rarely returning to the town as his parents moved to Ludlow, the singer has a clear message to up and coming bands in Bromsgrove.

"Stick at it and be determined," he said. "There are a lot of bands that come from towns with not many opportunities, such as Muse, who come from a tiny village in Cornwall."

Guillemots are set to embark on a UK tour next month including a date at Birmingham's Alexandra theatre - a homecoming which Fyfe is looking forward to. "It is always great to come back and play in the area because all of my friends and family will be there," he said.