Party on, Papillon!

My new album ‘Party on, Papillon!’ is finally out!

I got an itchy finger and published it to my Bandcamp on Sunday morning. A few folk have purchased it so far but mostly it’s been streamed but that is the 21st century way I guess. Hopefully it will be up on iTunes/Spotify/Deezer etc in the coming weeks if I can scrape some cash together.

Link to it is here – ‘Party on, Papillon!’ by Anna Secret Poet

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1890023517/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

Although it has taken a year from start to finish in truth it has only been a few actual recording sessions which I held mainly in the comfort of my bedroom. It’s my favourite place to do it – folk are often surprised when I tell them how I do it.

It’s priced at £5 (not including VAT) on Bandcamp so grab it while you can as it will probably be around £7.99 from the other retailers. I plan to get 100 CD’s made up which I will sell through Bandcamp and possibly eBay so if there are any interested parties do contact me for more information 🙂

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Album Excitement!

I have been very busy these past few months and I am now ready to release my new album! My third under the name Anna Secret Poet, it is entitled ‘Party on, Papillon!’

The front cover is a photograph taken by my friend Debbie McCall on a shoot we did in Glasgow Green at the start of the summer. I’m still not used to other folk photographing Anna but Debbie is brilliant and I did relax after an initial bashfulness. The full shoot can be viewed in HD from this link Galactic Carnival Photoshoot 26/6/18. This is what the back cover looks like, also includes full tracklisting.

I have since remade it for the text to be sharper. I expect to have it up on Bandcamp next week followed by a limited run of CDs (100 projected) and by the end of the month it should be on iTunes, Spotify etc. Expect another post sharing and celebrating this occurence.

I am rather excited about this, so much so I’m already planning my next project. ‘Anna and the Secrets’ – a 3-piece garage band that will release a surf/garage/psychobilly style EP in the new year…hopefully! During the sessions for the album I recorded a couple of songs that I’ve put up as a separate non-album single on Bandcamp and Soundcloud respectively. My Halloween song ‘Annaween’ backed up with an old song called ‘Boobies’ 😉

‘Annaween’ on Soundcloud

‘Boobies’ on Soundcloud

‘Annaween’ on Bandcamp

Excuse the cover it was done in a hurry. Actually it was a rejected photocopy of a self portrait I did a while back. I was using it as scrap paper but I ended up liking the half face and coloured it in 😄

Another thing I’ve been getting into recently is Deezer the streaming service. I never envisaged using something like that but it has opened up these dusty old ears to a whole world of music I’ve never before heard. I prefer it to Spotify I have to say which I do have too but only the free version with adverts. Because my last album ‘Tits of Steel’ is up there I began to seek out other people I know or have played with over the years. I found I decent amount of them on Spotify and Deezer and was moved to make playlists including them as a supportive gesture. I made 2 in September and here are links to them if you’re sufficiently intrigued.

Anna Secret Poet and Friends (Spotify)

Anna Secret Poet and Friends (Deezer)

Anna Secret Poet and Friends Vol. 2 (Spotify)

Anna Secret Poet and Friends Vol. 2 (Deezer)

It was really exciting for me to group all these folk together in the one place. Apart from playing with and seeing them live this is often the first time I’ve heard recordings of them. Obviously I’m in the playlists too! First track on each haha. I’m still proud of ‘Tits of Steel’, out of all the music I’ve made in the last quarter century it has reached the largest amount of people. Performing songs from it is a constant joy too. Invariably audiences know some of the songs and cheer when I mention the titles (‘Eyebrows!’ in particular gets the most excited response – I’d probably be lynched if I don’t sing that). I really can’t wait to unleash the new stuff! Watch this space…

Still Anna after all these years

I’m still performing a few times a month…

I’m still dressing for leisure every now and again…

And I’m still mostly loving life!

But underneath there are still doubts and niggles and dissatisfactions and situations to overthink. Too many to mention but cheifly amongst them was what happened on Thursday. I had to wrestle with a draft tracklisting of my new album. On paper it seemed great but the reality was not so great. Something wasn’t right and it put me in a massively awful mood for hours. It even prompted a poem…

But amusingly a couple of folk added 2 more verses to it that cheered me up a little 😄

In the end I was able to spot the problems which culminated in a slight reshuffle and the removal of a song. One other is coming off if I finish another couple of songs I’m currently toying with – a rap and a song called ‘Rum and Cheese’. It’s not like I haaaaave to finish it this week. I can afford to let it gestate but it’s just my artistic nature to want to launch stuff out constantly!

I’ve got a few more shows on the horizon in the next wee while. I’m playing Solfest again at the end of August, a new comedy night in town next month (I should probably nip those in the bud soon), a loca LGBT youth group have asked me to perform and do a talk in November, a possible birthday party around the same time and I’ve been invited to play at a friend’s wedding in May. A mixed bag to be sure! I played a normal rock gig during the week which is a rare occurance indeed and the kind of show I enjoy most. I didn’t look very good for it though…

I shouldn’t have teamed that hair with the outfit. It just looked awful – luckily there weren’t any photos taken by other people that night!

The last couple of weekends have gifted me a few hours to try on outfits at home which is nice. Here are a few of the better pics from last Sunday.

This very morning I was able to do it again so I elected to try out a new green skirt that my wife gave me. Initially it was difficult to decide on a top to go with it so I elected to team it with a grey jumper I haven’t worn very much.

Amusingly at one point I was photobombed by my cat Gozer!

I have many more photos from the last month that I still need to remember and share. Hopefully I can work them into other posts over thr next while 😘

Galactic Carnival Photoshoot, June 2018

Towards the end of June me and my good friend Debbie McCall found space in our busy diaries to do a second shoot together. Our previus shoot back in August 2017 was a great success and can be found here Galactic Carnival Photoshoot 19/8/17. This time we thought it would be nice to take pictures in a park and possibly use my butterfly cape. It was decided to use the outskirts of Glasgow Green for this purpose. Most of the green was closed because of the TRNSMT festival which was due to take place there the following weekend. What follows is a few of my personal favourites from the session. I wouldn’t want to bore you with the 70 or so images I got sent (though they are wonderful) 😊

I love this next one and would dearly like to use it or one of the other butterfly pics on my new album cover. I’m over the halfway point in recording it so I’m starting to think about title and visuals.

We then moved further down the green along the river Clyde and stopped off to take some snaps at an old suspension bridge which links our side of the river with the Gorbals and the south.

We then moved further round the cordon to an old drying green and playpark area where we found a rather knobbly tree and a nice shady spot (it was bloody roasting by the way!).

Finding ourselves running out of things to shoot outdoors we went for a lovely stroll and ended up back at the Britannia Panopticon. True to form it was lovely and cool in there and after a short break I posed for a few in the main auditorium space.

I had a brilliant time and can’t wait to do another one with her! She done a fantastic job and I was most impressed with them indeed. I’m still not used to other people taking photos of Anna but Debbie puts me at my ease – I even use my real smile and not the usual face of stern flirtiness 😄

You can find her Instagram page here Galactic Carnival. Do give her a follow!

In the Garden of Eden

I’ve been super busy since I last posted here and I’ve been meaning to update for over a month. At the start of June I went to Eden Festival again, this time to perform with the Well Happy Band and as Anna which was very exciting. I was there from Thursday till Monday so it was tiring but well worth it. On the Thursday, Alaine and Janine who inaugurated the band were running an open mic spot at the Melodrome Mobile Stage. This stage was where I spent most of my time. It’s in a beautiful forest clearing off the main track but worth the trek if you find it. The band closed the night but I actually got to do a few songs as myself which technically I haven’t done for a long time. I went by the name Chairman Cow which is a persona I have all but ditched by now.

L-R – Colin Syme, John & Tricia Gordon and me

That’s me playing bass on the far right!

It wasn’t till after midnight that I got to pitch my tent, under a tree in an area behind the stage. The Melodrome folk had their own private camping space with a kitchen and chillout area so I wasn’t alone. In the morning I had a shave and got all dolled up. Short blonde hair and denim shorts – oh yeah!

I took these as I wondered the site on Friday morning. My bandmates were probably still sleeping at the time. I took the opportunity to take photos with my digital camera too around the perimeter of the Melodrome.

I got to spend the whole day as Anna – possibly the longest I’ve ever spent. I had 2 slots at the Melodrome (plus one with Well Happy in a place called Bob’s Back Passage). There aren’t many photos that I know of as yet but Beverly Pearson took some and I’d like to share them here.

I look like Kurt Cobain lol!

This is another one that Beverly took and the man on the right is my best and oldest friend Colin Syme. He’s the keyboardist in the legendary ‘Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5’ and was the bass player in my first band Guavara and my last Les Grandes Horizontales. I miss playing music with him!

After my first set I had a costume change, a mustard vest top with giraffes on it and a denim skirt…

Much better! It was so warm so it was nice to get a bit of a breeze. Also this marked the first time I was outside with a skirt and no tights. It was brilliant 😊 My second set went okay but it less well attended than the first one. I hung about afterwards to catch ‘Donut! Formerly known as Eating Disorder’. They were fantastic, marred only by the constant attack of midges. I had so many bites on my arms, torso, legs and bum come Monday! 😄

On the Saturday I was due to make another appearance at the Melodrome as part of Spangled Cabaret. Also on the bill were Paul Puppet who was hosting, Dharma Geddon, Alana Duvey, Gabriel Featherstone, The Great Aziz, the Golden Empress and Luki.

Photos courtesy of Paul Puppet ❤

I had my TARDIS dress on and I posed for one or two photos backstage before the show although only one of them was useable…

I was billed last so patiently waited around enjoying everyone else. When my time came I found we were running behind and I could extend my set. The joys! How it was not to be ☹ One song down I started ‘Tits of Steel’ only to have the plugs pulled shortly after. A massive thunder and lightning storm had necessitated the power being shut off for the entire site. As we were in a wooded area we had to evacuate immediately for safety reasons! Massive bummer…it put me on a downer for a few hours as I wasn’t able to go back on. I got changed back into man clothes which I reget now as that meant Anna’s festival was over. The upside was that the remaining 2 nights were spent in relative comfort. Gone was the tent and into Alaine’s comfy motorhome I went. Hopefully I get asked back next year!

Revenge Shit

All day he sleeps

Anywhere except his bed

Bites you when you try

To pat him on the head

He’s a grumpy old sod

But loveable in his way

Except when it comes

To the end of the day

Into bed

Settle down with the wife

And that’s when he chooses

To spring to life

He demands attention

A carry on

But we’re too tired

And can’t take him on

He becomes unreasonable

His eyes become black

He squeaks and

Folds his ears back

He lashes out

Blood is spilled

We’d have rather he’d

Sat with us and chilled

Out he’s sent

Into the hall

Door firmly closed

He begins to yawl

Thundering up and down

The length of the flat

Such unearthly sounds

He continually spat

Then before we know it

The scrape in a tray

Lined with litter

No egg does he lay

But something abhorrant

With a powerful odour

The nightly present

From our dear friend Gozer

He knows what he’s doing

He’s not daft

You have to admire

How swiftly it wafts

Hold your nose

From this powerful stun

Humans nil

Gozer one

Please Stop and Stare!

Once a long ago, this page here was Anna’s only outlet. Back then she was a proper secret known only to an elite few. Fast forward five years and her photos mingle with my male photos on Facebook timelines. Just this morning I posted a picture of my proposed festival look: stripey top, denim shorts with optional black tights and a BUTTERFLY CAPE!

I cannot wait to fly around Eden Festival at the beginning of June. I was there last year with my band but this year I get to go back and do Anna too! I’ll be playing on The Melodrome Mobile Stage which is a really cool setup and with lovely folk running it. The setting is idyllic too! A forest clearing which is all lit up with fairy lights at night. I’m doing 3 sets so far – Friday late afternoon and Friday night (that’s about the time things really kick off) and Saturday afternoon where I’ll join Spangled Cabaret and try my very best not to swear! 😄 A side note is that I swore in a room full of children at Christmas during a Spangled set…I like to think I either got away with it or they thought it was cool.

That’s a new blonde wig I acquired recently. I had abandoned blonde as a colour some 10 years ago but it was a silly thing to do. It turns out that it takes years off me haha! One of my other most recent purchases is a TARDIS dress which I bought from a shop in Glasgow called Geek-a-boo a few weeks back. Here it is in all it’s dimensionally transcendant glory…

I can’t remember what I said in my last post but I’ve sure been busy since it happened. I had 3 shows this past week. One of them was with The Well Happy Band at The Bungalow in Paisley. Often I perform as myself in them but I was in a dress-up mood that day. Here are some pics from the night which was raising money for Scottish Mental Health Awareness. The first two photos were taken by Amy Stanton and also features James on sax and Tricia on melodica 😊

L-R in picture 2 are; Janine on keys, Robert on guitar, Alaine on uke and vox, John on drums and far right Martin on guitar.

I tried the cape out that night! It was great fun apart from the tight collar – it made me feel like I was being choked constantly.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I performed at a night called Sonnet Youth which is ran by Kevin P Gilday and Cat Hepburn – two Glasgow poets of note. I had been hoping to infiltrate one of their nights for a while and jumped at the chance when invited. It turns out they did 2 nights with the same line-up – one in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow. What a cool idea! I feel I got to know the other acts well and loved hanging out with them. I also found it very inspiring! My partners in crime were; The Honey Farm, Colin McGuire, Kieran Hurley, Tyrone Power and The Institute for L!ghter Living. The Edinburgh show was in The Basement of The Gilded Balloon – a place where many panel show comedians have no doubt died before me. I did not die however and went down a treat. The night itself went without incident, it was the Glasgow date at Drygate which provided a problem.

I arrived and proceeded to get dressed only to discover to my horror that I had not packed tights! I don’t maintain a hairless leg so this was a disaster. Cue a frantic jog down the length of Duke Street after 5pm in a desperate quest for dark tights. It was a drag emergency (I actually said this to the staff in Boots the chemist). Thankfully I found a pair in a newsagents which looked like it had been on sale for years. The box was dusty and rather tatty! Anyway I got back to the venue, got changed and kicked arse again. This time I got to see the whole show as I had to leave early from Edinburgh cos it’s an epic journey back to my house from there.

This was my look from the Edinburgh date.

And this is my look from the Glasgow date. The first photo was taken by a lady called Karen Gordon, a friend of Cat’s who swung by to see the show and she kindly took all our portraits!

I’ve had that velvet jacket for years! I bought it in Carnaby Street in London in 1997. I really should wear it more often. Here are some better photos of the outfit taken last Sunday. I almost look like I’m trying out for Doctor Who!

I’ll share a few more random photos from the last few months before signing off. These next shots were taken by my good friend Martin Windebank when I hosted Queer Theory again in April.

I especially love that last one! A couple of weeks ago I played at a benefit gig for the Beatson Cancer Charity and I unveiled my dungaree dress. I never thought I’d get into denim or wear flat shoes on stage but…

The night after that I did another Drag-Opticon at the Britannia Panopticon. That was an awesome night! I got to wear my new black patent knee high platform boots. My toes hated me the next day but it was worth it 😄

Debbie the house photographer’s camera jammed but I got some screen grabs from Ioannis Cleary’s videos of the event which are on his Youtube channel for all to see!

A splendid night was had by all and I believe it may have been a sellout! 😉