I had listened to Plested before, but never in depth, so I was in for a positive surprise when I discovered he was the opening act for Lauren Aquilina at The Deaf Institute.
Just him and a guitar, with strumming patterns that amateur guitarists/ singer songwriters would not find hard to pick up (perhaps like myself), it was empowering and exciting to realise the bare bones of song writing are not limited to top-notch production; simple a storyteller and an instrument can suffice.
The first song played is “First Time”, with lyrics containing a juxtaposition of “last thing/ first time”. Instantly catchy, with his voice easily floating to falsetto, and his style not too different from Lauren, the audience clapped their approval.
Plested stated that he often wrote imagining, or pictured his songs being in films and that one was used in Grey’s Anatomy, offering some insight into how the songs come together.
“Habits” is instantly defined by haunting chords, with the vocalist desperately stating he is “never gonna break your heart”. The falsetto usage works, it’s almost effortless. My favourite lyric is “You’re the trigger on the gun and I surrender”.
Plested, in between sips of water, takes the chance to speak to us, highlighting perhaps a negative impression that some people might have about “another man with a guitar”. In constrast, undoubtedly, Manchester welcomes the talent with open arms.
You may know a song called “Touch”, made famous by Little Mix however Plested is indeed listed as a writing for the song. “Got me under a spell” sets the tone, the message resonating across the room. This song performed acoustically adds depth to a pop song; this also highlights how versatile his art can be.
Next, we move on to “Worthy”, which he explains is about how nothing you do is ever worthy of someone, the hook being “never be worthy of you”. Nothing extravagant, no overwhelming production, just a wonderfully conveyed message
The next song, “Ribcage”, was inspired by the writer finding it “hard to fall in love”. The metaphor states that we have a ribcage around our heart to protect it. With a swift move of the capo up to fret 4, my favourite line is “my hands are tied”, which sets the agenda perfectly.
Next up was hands down my favourite, “Your Name”. With his capo on fret 2 this time, his dialogue begins by telling us he is “not good on camera” and “really awkward”. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but luckily he was good on stage. The hook excels and I definitely believe this to be the most catchy and relatable.
I hope to see more things from Plested in the near future!
Words Emma Stevens