Hello and welcome to my first blog entry.
The ‘b’ on my keyboard keeps getting stuck so I nearly said ‘log’ by mistake, but what I really want this to be is just a place to tell you about any interesting work I’ve been doing in the previous month and also a place where I can enthuse about things that I like. I recently discovered that, as someone who does gigs, I could be called a’social node’, and it’s true that I do really like introducing people to each other and telling them about great things people I know are doing.
When I like things I really like them a lot. So there’ll be lots of links to all sorts of things and places. I hope you go and have a look at them and enjoy them too, and tell me what you think.
I love snow. I’ve written about snow in 2 of my songs and I’m sure I will write a song entirely about snow one day. I worked as a lonely chalet girl in a French ski-resort in my early 20’s, cooking up daily feasts from the paperback Penguin Cordon Bleu and skiing round the mountains every afternoon, often on my own, sometimes with my lovely chef friends C and Tracey. But I rarely felt lonely and loved the bright light and the muffled sound of living surrounded by snow for several months.
I felt very happy on the day in February when it snowed here and we went sledging on some very small hills. Going to meet friends in East London, I loved travelling on the tube in skiing clothes and walking boots, carrying a plastic sledge, cutting through the normal smartness and formality. The snow quietens everything down and covers up the concrete and pavements making the city look part of nature again.
My German grandfather was a veteran of winter sports, ski-racing in a jacket and tie in the days when you had to climb the mountain to be able to go down it, and playing ice-hockey in the 1936 Olympics. He would step outside to see what kind of day it was, then wax our skis by hand and put a toblerone in our pocket to keep us going. The mountains in Scotland still have that same atmosphere. http://www.ski-glenshee.co.uk/
Back in London and my new favourite night out (it’s on the 4th Monday of every month) is ‘John Hegley and Friends’ upstairs at the Betsey Trottwood pub in Farringdon Road. (www.thebetsey.com)
Andy Hamill and I were his guests last month and went back as audience members last week to see Simon Munnery as special guest.
John links fellow performance poets and musicians with his ever-brilliant, sometimes poignant and very funny poems and songs, and regulars Diego Brown and the Good Fairy bring their clever songs and fairy cakes with lit candles. Gary rounds the evening off with a few choice tracks, and suddenly we are all up dancing to ‘Love Train’, not expecting it and loving it, strangers grinning at each other across the room.
I felt inspired to use a night at The Bull’s Head in Barnes in a similar way, and called it ‘Rebecca Hollweg’s Lucky Dip, inviting fellow songwriters to play with Andy Hamill on bass and Julian Ferraretto on violin: Victoria Hume and Chris Letcher, Julian’s wife Elizabeth McCall, Sam Willoughby and my childhood friend Taz Alexander, all very special and very different to each other.
Julian and Andy were joined by my brother Lucas Hollweg on trombone and Mike Quint on tenor saxophone to form the Lucky Dip House Band, performing live ‘stings’ to go with my Ian Dury style Lucky Dip song, written using rhymes with ‘dip’ suggested by people on facebook. Very 21st century, and very good fun as it turned out, thanks to a lovely humourous crowd. There was also a real lucky dip with prizes for everyone, found in my loft and wrapped in newspaper. We’ll do it again sometime and somewhere.