FORMER Marling School pupil Eamon Hamilton left the Five Valleys dreaming of making his mark on British music.

And this week Eamon, who grew up in Chalford Hill, returned to Stroud Subscription Rooms for an eagerly awaited and emotional homecoming gig with new band, Brakes.

Speaking exclusively to the SNJ just minutes before taking to the stage, the frontman and guitarist spoke fondly about the Five Valleys.

"I really wanted to do a gig in Stroud, I've got a lot of affection for the place and I'm incredibly proud to be back," he said.

"Our song The Most Fun is about a party on Cowcombe Hill and a legendary rave at the Post Office depot at Salmon Springs."

And Eamon, 30, was not put off by the fact several bands have failed to impress Stroud crowds.

"I heard U2 got booed off at the Marshall Rooms, which is Riga now, but hopefully the crowd will be on our side tonight," said Eamon, who is frontman and guitarist.

The four-piece - a hybrid of two acclaimed Brighton bands, Electric Soft Parade and British Sea Power - have received more than a murmur of approval from critics.

He has been compared to David Byrne, of Talking Heads, and is fast-becoming a well-respected artist in his own right.

He was recently invited to play in Reykjavik with Icelandic band Sigur Ros. Brakes debut album, Give Blood, which crams in a staggering 16 tracks into under 30 minutes, is a real melting pot of influences.

"At the moment I'm getting into a lot of blues and folk but also love good old rock 'n' roll," said Eamon, who grew up in Canada.

"My inspiration is frustration and also trying to find beauty."

In his early 20s, with an art history degree and some journalism experience behind him, Eamon faced a tough decision.

After a two-week trial, he was offered a job at the Guardian.

"That was on Friday and by Saturday I started my first tour with British Sea Power," he said.

"The editor understood and told me to go for it."

Success followed, with Eamon making a recent appearance in front of frenzied crowds in Texas at the South by Southwest Festival.

His career high so far was playing a gig to a packed New York audience.

"The set went down a storm and they went mental," said Eamon.

"I love live music, it's all in a moment that will never happen again."

*Brakes are currently touring and their album Give Blood is in record stores now on Rough Trade.