The review for my new album ‘Tits of Steel’ just went live on the NHC website. I’ve never had a review before…ever! So this makes it doubly exciting ❤
I got an e-mail from WordPress recently congratulating me on my fourth year of blogging with them. I’d almost forgot about the page for a while to be honest as I often find myself too busy to spend proper time on it. Be that reading everyone else’s or tending to my own so please accept these digital apologies!
Originally I had started this as a means to feel better about my crossdressing. Or at least a bit less guilty. I find that the intervening years have indeed seen changes there and Anna as a character (which I suppose she is) is very public indeed. Far more public than I could ever have imagined in fact and comfortably so as I have married the proverbial closet to the music. And this is the reason I have been too busy to blog of late. My last batch of posts were mere placeholders as I have done a further 11 shows since September. I doubt if I’d be able to sustain my interest or yours talking about them individually and in depth so I just thought I’d share the different looks I sported for them instead.
Live photo photo from McChuills courtesy of Lee Cosgrove
Live photo from NHC Busker Rhymes Takeover courtesy of Rory O’bee
Live photo from Yellow Movement Sundays at McChuills courtesy of Carol McMillan
I was also asked host a show again, this time it was a night of ROCK music at the Classic Grand in Glasgow. Initially I was very nervous about it but ended up having a splendid time and making some more new friends 😊
This has to be one of my favourite combinations. You can’t see my knee-high boots from this perspective but you get to see them in the next photo courtesy of Eddie McEleny.
The next gig I had there was another one of those rarities – 2 gigs in one night. I was at the Blue Chair to participate in an Extra Second event. The theme for the night was ‘Wholesome’ so I read a love poem and sang ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ then hotfooted it to the Classic Grand to play basd for the Well Happy Band. I decided to wear one of the band’s tshirts and pair it with a cute tartan skirt.
I don’t have any photos from this gig but John the drummer took this one and you can see me on the right there ready to rock out!
The next show I took part in was ‘Ghost Stories from Around the World’ which took place at the Britannia Panopticon. It’s fast becoming one of my favourite venues. All the other acts were all mini plays of a macabre nature and I elected to write a creepy song especially for the occasion. I called it ‘Annaween’ 😄
Photos courtesy of Galactic Carnival.
Then I supported Hacksaw, a punk band from Bristol, playing at the 13th Note on their 30th anniversary tour. That was a braw night! As mentioned in an earlier post I had brought out a new album called ‘Tits of Steel’ and I managed to sell a few copies at this which is awesome!
Live photo coutesy of Budgie McGubligan
Me and Eleanor Chalkey, the lovely lady who organised the gig.
Toilet roll fight during a song called ‘Bogroll’ (wish I’d thought of that!)
At the beginning of the month I was the November cover girl for a new online crossdressing and drag magazine called Gender Mag which was lovely. There was a full interview with me with full colour photos. They didn’t once mention the words ‘Anna Secret Poet’ but nonetheless I’ve decided it was a cool experience. Here’s what it looked like…
When time has passed a little I will publish the pages here or on Facenook as I don’t think you can get back issues with this mag 😄
On the 10th of November I had the excitement of two shows in one night again. The first was my return to Drag-Opticon at the Britannia Panopticon as usual hosted by Alana Duvey, Glasgow’s nicest drag queen. I sported a sleeveless boob tube type Wonder Woman-esque sequin clad dress with glittery heels and managed to mostly avoid a titty incident!
Live photos courtesy once again of Galactic Carnival.
I’m not sure this one went well for me…I forgot words for one song and rambled a little bit more than I’d have liked to. Also the finale was mightily embarrassing! Once everyone was onstage after the curtain call there came a chant for one more song. ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman’ by Shania Twain started playing and everyone started dancing except me. Not only can I not dance but I don’t like that song so it was a long 4 mins or so. In the end I just pranced about then clambered offstage with a rose in my mouth.
The next gig was at the Riding Room for the Glasgow Festival of Burlesque. With my good lady wife on tow we made it just in time to set up and belt out 15 mins of my usual nonsense 😄
These images were by Jamie McFadyen
My feet were killing me after all that but there was no rest for the wicked as I had another show lined up the next night. This time at the Glad Cafe on the southside of Glasgow. It was a comedy night called Crossmylaff (it’s near the district called Crossmyloof) and it was a brilliant evening. I elected to go for an office or secretarial look.
The last picture was taken by Andrew Ogilvie, one of the organisers alongside Fergus Mitchell. Two very funny guys indeed!
*Featured image was taken by Violet Duff
I am extremely excited to announce that my new album ‘Tits of Steel’ is now live on Bandcamp. It’s free to stream or listen to the tracks but to download it as a high quality mp3 or any other type of file you may wish for £5. I reckon that’s a reasonable price having never technically charged for my music before. On my Bandcamp page it’s generally set up so you can pay what you want but I thought I’d give this a try for a while. During the week I plan to make some physical copies up in time for my show at McChuills on Friday the 13th of October. At this show I also intend to try a set aided by awesome backing tracks culled from the album in question. It’s going to be a fun week all in!
The link for the album in question can be found here…
The front and back images are courtesy of Debbie McCall from our shoot at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in August. Regrettably I had to crop my legs off the picture but no matter. Folk should hopefully get to enjoy them live. The Wicker Man tattoo is courtesy of Erin Jo Mac at The Bees Knees in Clydebank.
This is the back cover (I’m not putting it in a jewel case as yet, pvc sleeves only). It’s from the same shoot and was chosen amongst other reasons for it’s colourfulness. The sleeve will be printed in full colour this time. I normally just do black and white printing but I figured it would be a more attractive proposotion that way.
On the whole I reckon I’m pleased with the results. It’s a brief collection again, clocking in at around the 33 minute mark. Roughly the same length as your average Beatles album. It’s a lot more abrasive than I intended and I hope this puts no one off listening to me. I trust they’ll know that it’s predominantly meant in jest and that I don’t take myself too seriously!
I am very excited to be able to share photos from my shoot with the amazing Galactic Carnival (AKA Debbie McCall) from a couple of weeks back. I also got photos from my first one in July which I shall share in a later post. It was a really fun and relaxed afternoon we had shooting at the Britannia Panopticon. Also in attendance was a most gregarious Panopticonite called Peter Crilly who helped out with some of the setting up and provided copious puns for our collective pleasure.
The guitar posing all done, we gained access to a creepy spiral staircase backstage that members of the public wouldn’t normally get to see. Apparently it used to lead to a freakshow on the top floor!
We the creapt back into the main audotorium where I posed for some pics at the pianola.
…and then Debbie and Peter took me to the Moon!!
…but I lost my guitar up there!
After a brief break we ventured outside and down the street to Tontine Lane where we took some urban shots.
It really was a great day! Topped off by Debbie and Peter coming along to my gig at the 13th Note afterwards – well it was only just round the corner. That went really well too! Debbie took some pics of that and filmed the climactic ‘Eyebrows!’ in it’s entirety.. here is a handy link to view it on Youtube 😉
I’ve had a great week so far!
On Monday I was at the Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow University, for Spangled Cabaret. A fantastic line-up as always featuring Paul Puppet, Earnest & Wilde, Stephen Watt, Tom Harlow, Raven Rose, Brandy Montematre, Professor Cogsworth and Lacy Rain. Though not extremely busy everyone that was there clearly wanted to be there so a great night was had by all. The awesome Debbie McCall (AKA Galactic Carnival) was there too and snapped some photos of us all. This is one she took of me 😊
The legend that is Stephen Watt also gave me a lift home afterwards which is fantastic. It went on till after 11 and I would have got home at stupid o’clock otherwise. He also snapped a few pictures and took a short video as shown here.
Here are a few other pics I took after getting ready in a dark corner as everything else was locked (uni hasn’t started yet which would explain the sparse attendance…that and the Edinburgh Fringe more of which shortly).
On Wednesday I had a half day from work as I was going through to Edinburgh to do a little spot on a friends Free Fringe show. Natalie Sweeney Potter had kindly invited me onto the bill of ‘Funny Lassies’. I decided to make the day of it and justify the train fare. I got changed in work and headed straight for the train figuring it would save me doing it there and it means I could spend most of the day mingling with the crowds.
Apologies for the tartan spam! I just love this dress and I figured as I was heading to our nation’s capital I’d tartan myself up. I chose my knee high boots as they are comfy to wear for hours at a time.
I did a lot of walking as I had time to kill. Edimburgh is not recommended to be traversed in heels I should add and my calves are not happy with it. I’d say it was worth it though as overall it was a great experience and I didn’t once get any hassle. I popped into a few different places for a drink here and a bite to eat there without fuss. Possibly because at this time of year there are a lot of colourful folk about so maybe I kind of blended into the background a bit.
One of the highlights was bumping into a comedian I had the pleasure of sharing a bill with back in May, a chap called Obie. He was flyering for his show so I popped in to see that. Very funny guy indeed. Great crowd, nice intimate venue. £5 for a beer and a bourbon too 😉
I had also arranged to meet up with Jenny Bside who is an entertainer mining a similar territory to myself. She is up from London to do a whole bunch of shows. Sadly I couldn’t catch her performance as I had to make the train and it was a long journey home. She stayed for mine though which was very kind indeed (plus she took these 2 photos).
Natalie wasn’t there as she took the night off but the Lady Shona and Lubna Kerr were. They were a couple of lovely ladies indeed and very funny too. It was a shame I wasn’t able to spend more time hanging out with them or be around in general. I had to get changed back to normal and hot foot it to the train station which was all up hill then down hill pushing past lots of slowmoving or inert people who conversely were in no rush at all 😄. I just caught a train after 9pm and after a change of train then bus I was in for about half 11.
I wish I’d taken more photos too – would have loved one with the castle in the background but I only managed one with Arthur’s Seat. Maybe I’d do it again but it would be ideal to have company next time as spending most of the day to myself was a bit tiresome. They could have carried one of my cases! 😄
As I have been too busy to post in the last couple of months I thought I’d have a go today at sorting that out. June and July were fun indeed! In the middle of June I was at Eden Festival – my first proper festival experience. In spite of it being a total wash-out I had a great time. I was down with The Well Happy Band and we played a total of 3 gigs over the course of the weekend. In non Anna circumstances I reckon the Eden weekend would have merited a whole post to itself but I shall move on.
My first proper hosting gig went without incident thank goodness. I compered Queer Theory at Nice n’ Sleazy on the 14th of June. Apparently it is the first time it ever ran to schedule in fact! I elected to not hog the limelight too long and let the other acts get on with it. I doubt if I’ll be asked back to do it again though as I don’t think I’m host material. The first photos are ones I took myself backstage.
These were some of the better photos of me that night as snapped by Martin J Windebank.
On the 24th of June I undertook one of my odder shows. It was at a nightclub called Victorias in Glasgow and it was a benefit gig for a lady to raise money to buy a prosthetic arm. I shared the bill with some of my favourite comedians; Kavita Bhardwaj, Natalie Sweeney Potter, Aaron Wilkie and Andrew Ogilvie. Unfortunately given the venue’s reputation as a nightclub a lot of folk didn’t turn up for the comedy part of the evening which commenced sometime after 9. Lack of microphone stand led me to shout all my words out to be heard over my amp. Amusing I suppose. This is one of the few usable pics I took that night after changing.
At the end of June a window opened up for me to do a little bit of dress-up at home which is increasingly rare these days. It enabled me to try out some new outfits I had acquired recently from an aunt and some charity shop excursions.
I enjoyed all those looks, especially with fresh shorn legs! But my favourite was a tartan skater dress that I picked up earlier that day for the princely sum of £2.49 ❤
I loved this dress so much I elected to wear it for my first proper photoshoot which I had scheduled for the middle of July. This was to be with my friend Gary at GAK Photography, a Glasgow based photographer who specialises in cosplay shoots. We did it in a local beauty spot on a very rainy day but the results were mainly satisfactory. At this moment I have only had 2 edited pictures from the shoot and they are reproduced by kind permission below. When I see more I’ll no doubt share them incessantly!
Here are a few odds and ends from the dress-up session in my house to mop them up so to speak.
Over the last few months I have been working towards writing some new songs with the view to having an album out before Christmas. I have now amassed enough for an album and only need now record them in the appropriate fashion. I’ve also been enjoying trying these new songs out live at my last 3 shows at The Blue Chair, McPhabbs and The Project Cafe. In particular my new song ‘Eyebrows!’ has been going down a storm. To this end I decided to bring this forward as a single to promote ahead of my album. I recorded it on Friday evening and paired it with an outtake from my last Chairman Cow album called ‘P.S. Smell Me’.
Here is a link to download and or stream it completely free of charge! Anna Secret Poet – ‘Eyebrows!’ Also this is the cover art for it, I took it at McPhabbs. I was so excited to pose with this antique telephone!
Here are some photos from the last 3 gigs, all of them by me except the blurry action shot which I guess is by Fergus Mitchell.
I’ve a busy week ahead next week! 3 shows on Monday (Spangled at QMU, Glasgow University), Wednesday (Funny Lassies at Kilderkin as part of the Edinburgh Fringe) and Saturday (Pride at the 13th Note Cafè). Also I’ve a wee photoshoot on Saturday afternoon with Galactic Carnival that I’m looking forward to immensely. I hope to be sharing loads more photos again very soon 😉