A BOY from Wargrave has reached the semi-finals of a national singing contest.
Luke Brackstone, 12, from Highfield Park, was one of four acts to qualify from in the pre-teen category from the Teen Star regional heat held in Reading earlier this month.
He impressed the judges with a slowed-down version of Flaws by Bastille.
The Piggott School pupil will now go on to the area finals in London on May 18.
Luke lives with his parents, Martin, 46, who works for a delivery company, and Sally, 40, a hairdresser, and brother George, seven.
He has been singing in a band with two schoolfriends for five years and they performed in front of 400 people at last year’s Wargrave Festival.
The Teen Star competition was the first time he has sung solo. “I really enjoyed it,” said Luke. “It was nerve-racking because I’m used to having people behind me when I sing with the band but when I had finished I had a huge sense of achievement.
“It was a bit overwhelming when they called out my name as one of the acts to go through.”
Luke, who was one of 12 acts to perform, won singing lessons, a studio recording session and 10 free photographs from the event after selling more than 30 tickets for the heat to family and friends.
He said: “We had loads of people with us and the whole crowd was well over 100. I took my family and friends from school with their parents. It went mad when I got up on stage — they were really loud.”
Luke began taking singing lessons with Twyford tutor Sabrina Findlay in November and she was one of the judges at the heat.
He said: “The area finals will be even bigger with more competition but I’m really looking forward to it. I just need to choose my song.
“I’ll talk to my singing teacher and we will decide together what kind of song I should do. I really slowed down Flaws so maybe I’ll go for a more upbeat song in the next round.
“I really enjoy singing and I’d love to do more competitions like this. I would also love a career in music but I know how hard it is to get into.”
His band, who will be attending Reading Rock Academy this summer, do not have a name. Luke said: “We have had a few names and were last called Scratch but we are now trying to come up with a new name.
“We play rock music like Blur and Green Day, so Teen Star was a bit of a change of the style for me.”
Mrs Brackstone said: “It was amazing to see Luke up on stage. I was very nervous for him but he performed so well I wouldn’t have minded if he didn’t get through. He did such a good job and being picked as one of the winners was just a bonus.
“Getting up there and singing on your own is amazing. I know I couldn’t do it in front of that many people.”
The Teen Star competition, which was first held last year, is open to singers aged 12 to 19. The first winner was Luke Friend, who went on to finish runner-up in The X Factor.