Tag Archives: cabaret

As long as there are biscuits!

Hours after sharing my last post I received a phone call to tell me my father had passed away. Something I knew I would have to face at some point but I wish it had been much further in the future. 59 is too young! I know he would have enjoyed playing at being the grumpy old man shouting at children and waving a stick. Me and the family were fortunate to have spent a nice afternoon with him the day before in his bowling club. It was their opening day and we’d been invited as we was vice president this year. Tea, sandwiches, cakes and affordably priced alcohol aplenty. At the time I was thinking I might not go but ultimately I’m glad I did. My last memory of him is giving him a big hug before we left. And so it ends. This would be the chief reason for not attending a viewing the day before his funeral. I prefer to remember him laughing than in a coffin in a place of grief. I would have to get up close and personal with the coffin anyway the following day as myself and 5 other men carried his remains into the crematorium for his send off. I was heartened that he had such an amazing turn out. They reckoned it was somewhere in the region of 250 people. A squad of folk from his work had hired a coach so they could all attend!

I’m nowhere near over this but I’m hoping that talking about it helps. My wife has been brilliant and so has everyone else. Also I’ve been attempting to keep myself busy these past few weeks. During this time I managed to complete the recording for a mini-album/E.P. that I’d planning for a little while. I’ve also finished the artwork and set a release date. It should go live on Monday the 6th of May across all the digital and streaming platforms. As usual I shall make a limited quantity of physical CDs just incase some people are interested in taking a copy home.

I elected to dedicate it to my father as I think he would have liked it – especially track 2 which is a ska song about biscuits πŸ˜‰

Fortunately I’ve had no shows this month and it has enabled me to sort out some new material so that when I do start up again I’ve got new songs to get excited about. It keeps me on my toes as learning new songs for me can be quite stressful as I have such a wandering mind! Next month in May I have 4 lined up so far…

Without shows there technically wouldn’t be a reason to get all dolled up but this month I have managed a couple of brief sessions. Both were justified I feel as I didn’t want to get rusty and I had some new clothes to try out (a corset and a dress). Here follows some home posing which I do miss. Getting dressed in work toilets and so forth isn’t as relaxing πŸ˜„

The corset worked out very well. Once I’d managed to squeeze it on it was very comfy and kept my lumps and bumps in place haha! Burvogue I think it is, I got it from Amazon πŸ˜‰ This yellow dress is from TK Maxx. It’s longer than I would normally wear but I’m excited to don it when it’s properly summer.

After that I dusted off my curls for another outing. I think I’ve fallen in love with them again, especially when teamed with this jacket 😍

And yes…it was warm in here!

The reason for the bra is that I had been trying to simulate a cleavage effect. You can see it in the first yellow dress photo but not so much in the others. Plus it was warm! πŸ˜„

Follow this link to Anna’s Soundcloud to have a little listen to some of the tracks from my new CD. I’ve been putting one out every few days to hopefully build up a sort of interest for it. When it comes out proper I’ll no doubt bang on about it on here.

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Fluffy Jumper Dress

The other week I had a half day from work amd went for a stroll around the charity shops of the west end of Glasgow. I didn’t see much but I did pick up this gorgeous jumper dress for Β£4! It’s soooooo comfy but it’s scandalously short. I found some time a few days later to try it out…

I decided to try teaming it with a belt I’ve had for ages but not used. I think it looks ago but I reckon I prefer it without.

Cheeky! Sorry, just trying to cool down. It is a rather warm piece of clothing πŸ˜‰

This is my newest guitar! It’s a lovely Tanglewood electro-acoustic I purchased last month. I had only nipped out to go to the Post Office! πŸ˜„ I needed a new one anyway. This one is considerably lighter plus you can plug it in which my other one sadly couldn’t do. Not bad for Β£79.99!

Before defrocking I decided to film a quick video of me running through one of my latest songs – ‘Vinyl Schminyl’

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˜„

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™‚

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!

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 Β£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!