Your news: Complainer turns Pret entertainer

Hollie Rogers
Hollie Rogers

When Hollie Rogers quit her teaching job to focus on her career as a singer/songwriter, she had no way of knowing that one of her most succesful songs would be about porridge.

Like many people, Horsham-based Hollie Rogers often has to grab breakfast on the go.

Hollie Rogers

Hollie Rogers

On one occasion in November last year, she accidentally grabbed what turned out to be an underwhelming pot of dairy-free porridge from Pret a Manger.

“I was at Gatwick, and I was in a bit of a rush, like I usually am,” she told the County Times.

“In the rush, I picked up the wrong type of porridge.”

It was only once Hollie was sat on the plane itself that she realised she had picked up the gluten and dairy-free option by mistake. Having tried it, she took to Twitter to vent her feelings about the ‘vile’ substance.

Hollie Rogers

Hollie Rogers

“I don’t really know how they saw it [the Tweet], but they did, and they sent me a little sad emoji,” she said.

Feeling a little guilty for her Tweet, Hollie decided to do something about it.

“I felt sad, so I wrote a song about how much I like their usual porridge,” she said.

She uploaded the song to YouTube, calling it The “I’m Sorry Pret” Song.

Soon afterwards, the soulful singer received a completely unexpected invitation to perform at Pret’s big company event at the ‘really swanky’ venue Old Billingsgate, London.

“The CEO had asked whether they could get me to come up and play the song live,” she said.

“I was in Cornwall at the time, but they paid to fly me up on the Friday”, explained Hollie, still in shock at the surreal experience of performing in front of 1,000 of the company’s staff.

Hollie said the gig itself was wonderful, and everybody she met was really lovely.

After the event, Hollie took to social media again to vent her delight at what had happened.

“Then I got the video online afterwards, and it got about 10,000 views - I haven’t had that many in a while,” she said.

This track has a very different taste to what is usually found in her repertoire of music. Could the triumph of this song prompt more new material along similar lines?

“I think I have other funny songs in the bank,” she said. “I’ve just never considered putting them online, but maybe that’s what I’ll do.”

n Hollie Rogers: Body to Ground EP launch is taking place at the Cranleigh Arts Centre on Saturday April 22, 7.30pm.

Other upcoming gigs include the ‘Loxfest’ Beer and Music Festival on Saturday May 13.

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