Anna Claus

This week has seen possibly the best 2 shows I’ve done in a long time if ever. I’m my own harshest critic so I rarely think I’ve done well but I got lucky with audiences on Monday at Spangled Cabaret and Saturday at the 13th Note.

Monday was very special indeed as after a few songs people started dancing and by the end the words were being shouted back at me! Awesomely exciting stuff. It was videoed as well by a friend called Jon the Hat of Haufcut Video Productions. The full set can be viewed on Youtube via this link –

Anna Secret Poet Live at Spangled Cabaret 3/12/18

Action shot by Ruth Booth

I got to wear one of my newest purchases which is a lovely wool-effect Mrs Claus dress from Primark. I coveted it last year so leapt at the chance to own it this time round. Yes I fully realise I’ll only get to wear it a few times a year but it was so worth it. In a few spare moments today I posed for a few pics in the house. It got a bit cheeky πŸ˜‰

An early Christmas treat for you 😘

I also videod myself singing a Christmas song I wrote at the beginning of this year specifically dealing with the aftermath. I call it ‘Coming Down From Christmas’ ❀

The gig last night was even better. I was invited by The Red Lite District to join a bill at the 13th Note – my oldest surviving stomping ground. It’s a lovely big vegan cafe in Glasgow’s Merchant City. One of my favourite places, especially when it’s busy! The first time I was there was in April 1999 to see Biffy Clyro and Aereogramme. To have seen them in such a tiny venue was amazing in fact they impressed me so much that I felt like giving up music all together. When I got home I wrote a song inspired by their ‘Hope for an Angel’ which included the same quiet/loud bursts, gentle riffs and high singing voice. I called it ‘Hollow’ and it became a live staple for my teenage band at the time called ‘Guavara’.

‘Hollow’ by Guavara

There were 4 bands in total. The Limbo Scene, myself, The Red Lite District and The Performance Enhancing Suppositories. I was on second which turned out to be the optimum time to go on and I probably had the densest crowd. That made it magical. I reckon I played pretty well. Possibly I played it too safe with my set but I’ve not had much chance to practice recently. I’ve been hoping to add a few new tracks into the set but hopefully I will next year.

Action shot by Pat McGuire @ PMG Photog

I’m still peddling my new album. You can also now stream it in its entirety on Youtube from the following handy link…

Anna Secret Poet – Party on, Papillon! (Full Album on Youtube)

I’m also hoping to do a few more Christmas shots next week when I have my last show of the year. Drag-Opticon at the Britannia Panopticon – I cannot wait! I may even bring 2 costumes this time πŸ˜„

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The Party Continues…

My new album has been out in the world for a month now and so farΒ it’s been received well by those who have heard itΒ but I admit to being a little underwhelmed by how it’s performing. Part of this is to do with the blow I was dealt when I got the news that it couldn’t be released in Germany, Austria or Switzerland without cutting a certain track. The song in question being ‘Aunty Semetic & Uncle Adolf’. Apparently there is a ruling in these countries prohibiting material that even remotely resembles pro-Nazi propaganda/symbolism (Strafgesetzbuch section 86a). The wording is so vague and the penalty for contravening it are pretty severe I’m led to understand so I’ve had to leave out those countries 😦 For anyone who comes from Germany et al they can still get to it through my Bandcamp which as far as I’m aware is universal. I didn’t feel like I should have to cut the song as I mean no offence in it and am certainly not promoting Nazism. If anything the song is vehemently anti-Nazi and everything far-right.

Further links for the other major online music retailers can be found here;

Party on, Papillon! – Apple Music

Party on, Papillon! – Spotify

Party on, Papillon! – Amazon Music (UK)Β (I’m sure it’ll show up on all other variations)

It’s also available on Google Play Music, Tidal and several other services I’ve never heard of haha!

I’ve had a couple of lovely reviews of it as well, one by a good WordPress friend Eleanor Burns over at A Belated Existence πŸ™‚ I’m hoping to get a couple more by the end of the year.

Eleanor’s Review of ‘Party on, Papillon!’

This past year I haven’t really been spending much time on this page. I feel I’m on the wind down and don’t really have much more to talk about as far as Anna is concerned. She’ still gigging regularly in a variety of different venues and continues to make new friends and fans. The gig count will have risen to 100 come the end of November which is a number I would not have guessed I could manage. Who knows what next year holds – another album? That would surprise me. That last one done me in, I wish I knew how to promote myself. So far I only have it in one shop namely the New Hellfire Club in Partick. Other shops usually require you to have a barcode and I can’t really afford one of them (yup, you have to buy a barcode). I should say as well that it was my 5th anniversary of being on WordPress. I celebrated the other day with starting a new blog on a different subject. My love of horror films! I called it ‘Gory Gary’ and have so far only done 1 post and that was on ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’. If you like gruesome horror films you can follow me over there if you like…

Gory Gary

gory gary header 1

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 Β£5 (not including VAT) on Bandcamp so grab it while you can as it will probably be around Β£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 πŸ™‚

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’ πŸ˜‰

‘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 πŸ˜„

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 πŸ˜„

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 πŸ˜„

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! πŸ˜„

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!