Tag Archives: cabaret

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!

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Tits of Steel

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…

‘Tits of Steel’ by Anna Secret Poet

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!

Queer Theory Cabaret

The alternative title could be ‘Nice n’ Sleazy’ does it 😄

So I do hope you are all well! I’m not too bad, still half asleep as I write this. Well I had another gig a couple of days ago. This would be Anna’s 5th since February which is not too bad. It also has the distinction of being the first one so far that I was independently offered and didn’t have to pester anyone for. The next one I have coming up is the same actually only I was given carte blanche as to who I could perform as. I did give the briefest of thoughts to doing my standard male act but as I haven’t practiced that in a while the Anna option seemed easier. The one after that is in NOVEMBER!! Pure ages away but that one is very exciting. I’ll be performing as part of the Glasgow Festival of Burlesque. Further details pending (actually, I hope I’m able to discuss it at this stage).

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The gig on Wednesday went reasonably well. I was being spoiled a little as I was given a 20 minute slot – double what the last ones I have done were. I elected to put a couple of songs in to break up the poetry. It did become clear I was in danger of losing folk towards the end though and when I realised I had 5 more minutes having overestimated my set I flung in an extra tune – a rather spirited rendition of ‘Pump up the Jam’ by Technotronic. That went down alright but I had put too much into it and became a big sweaty mess! It took me a wee while to cool down.

Here’s a blurry action shot taken by a friend, I have difficulty staying still on stage.

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The other acts were brilliant! No burlesque at this cabaret but there was some excellent performance art from Katy Dye, comedy from Scott Agnew, visual art from Artiflora and music from the Black Doves and King Wine. King Wine were great fun actually, they were a male female duo who’s backing consisted of 2 Gameboys and an old Casio keyboard. 80s bliss :). The compere was suitably animated as well, kind of reminded me of Rik Mayall in the lowlighting of Sleazies. I’d really like to play that night again sometime if they’d have me.

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Now that music has become a more integral part of the act hopefully it means I have more gig potential. If a night doesn’t really need poetry I can just dig into the songbook. That’s the plan anyway, tailor my set accordingly and be flexible. Only 2 more gigs on the horzon at the moment…time to start pestering folk again! 😄

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Look what the cabaret dragged in!

So I actually did it! Last Friday I took to the stage and dramatically recited some poetry Anna-style. Filled with excitement and a little bit of terror it was all over in a flash…and then I got changed and we went home.

In my plans the previous week I had decided to get changed in work and walk to the venue which I estimated to be around 20-25 minutes away. It’s a cafe so it doesn’t have a backstage so reportedly the performers fight over the disabled toilet. (Funnily when I did get changed to go home there were remnants of the burlesque dancers strewn around; glitter and boa feathers. A colourful restroom indeed). And this I did! Echoes of the last night out reverberated in my mind only this time my confidence was a few notches higher. I spent less time getting ready than that previous ocassion, about 45 minutes. I had chosen the toilet nearest the exit I was intending to use and before leaving I slipped into my comfy ankle boots – well I wasn’t going to wear my good red pumps en route. Especially as it was bloody raining. Luckily I had my umbrella.

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The walk was very exciting as at the last minute my intended route changed. I was going to go a back way that would exchange a main road for something quieter but I thought what the hell! My umbrella would protect me. By the time I got to the Rio Cafe I must have looked a state. My eyeliner was running and I was rather warm but I soon climatised. My wife and her friend were already there and must have got a wee shock at coming face to face with the mad poet so soon. We had dinner and drinks and talked whilst many other folk arrived. I was really chuffed to see several friends turning up including my sister and her man. I think my set itself went well, there was applause and some laughter (which was intentional on my part). The ‘Stuck in a Dress’ poem went down the best I think. I could have done more but the well was dry and I dismounted the stage in a daze. One of my friends is a photographer and documented some of the proceedings. I had hoped to include some but haven’t seen them yet so I may include them in the next post. Here are a small selection – the lighting wasn’t very good sadly…

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Someone we know also did some HD filming and uploaded a compilation of the night to Youtube which you can view from here…

I can’t wait to do it all again! I’ve been working on some more material and working out what else I can wear. I reckon I’ll use different hair next time too – something that frames the face better. There’s no sign of another gig yet but I’m working on it. I had such a close shave that I took the opportunity to do some make-up practice the next morning. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! I want to master liquid eyeliner you see, does it look okay?

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