Tag Archives: crossdress

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!

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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!

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! 😉

Stream me if you wanna!

There have been some exciting developments in the past couple of weeks! I’m pleased to announce my album ‘Tits of Steel’ has gone live on multiple digital music platforms as of a few days ago. For me that makes it like a real album and I can’t be happier 😊.

Some of them I freely admit I’d never previously heard of but it’s nonetheless good news. If anyone is unable to come to gigs or get a CD off of me in person it’s the ideal way to share it.

‘Tits of Steel’ on Spotify

‘Tits of Steel’ on iTunes

‘Tits of Steel’ on Bandcamp

These are just 3 links by which you can access it – I share the Bandcamp link again because you can purchase it cheaper from there. It’s £7.99 everywhere else. But everywhere else except Bandcamp you get a bonus track not on the original release – ‘Bonus Sausage’ – a live favourite!

Other than this I’ve done a few shows already this year and they’ve went well. It’s always good to spread the word and have a little drink when you’re doing it. Here are some photos from the last few weeks, including a new dress and wig plus the return of the curls ❤

I’d gotten that dress before Christmas but this is the first chance I’ve had to try it on in the house with hair and make-up. The wig is new too!

It was great fun to dust off the curls, I ended up getting a lovely positive reaction from them by posting some of these pictures. So much so I decided to wear it to my Queer Theory appearance on Wednesday last!

Some photos from my look at Komedy at the Yesbar in January. I komposed a song especially for it called ‘Koming Down From Christmas’ as that was the loose theme of the evening. I was particularly pleased as it means that along with my Halloween song I now some holiday themed material I can roll out again in the future 😄. Also on the bill were Oliver Coleman, Eilidh Ella Anna and the incomparable Amelia Bayler.

At that night we were all handed a January Survival pack handcrafted by Amelia Bayler – it includes a teabag, Berocca and a chocolate Hobnob. I haven’t had the heart to rip it open as yet 😄

Oh I should point out that a few days after that gig I was reunited with my lost bag from Christmas – bless you First Glasgow! Contents intact, money, fan, make-up everything ❤

My next show was supporting Schande, Jesus and his Judgemental Father and Marble Gods at the Flying Duck in Glasgow. That night I rocked my dogtooth skater dress again! It was put on by Spite House and I can’t recommend their nights enough. They ALWAYS have top quality acts!

…and the morning after I had a little dress up to work on some new material in character so to speak 😄.

My next outing was to a place called the Dram and it was ran by Eilidh and Curtis who approached me at Komedy to come and do a wee turn. It was a great night and there was the added bonus of some improv courtesy of Improv Killed My Dog. There’s not enough of this happening so I would definitely check them out if you get a chance! Eilidh done a set too as did Gavin Reid who impressed me by producing a baby doll attached to the end of a pole and forcing it into audience members faces so they could kiss it 😄.

The last show this month (so far she says optimistically) was at Queer Theory in Nice n’ Sleazy. I consider it one of my spiritual homes as they were one of the early nights to ask me back multiple times and for that I’m very grateful. My look didn’t quite go to plan. The skirt I chose didn’t work with the top and my back-up skirt was too short and probably exposed my hold ups a few times. This was actually the first time I’ve been out sans heels by the way! I wore my Doc Martens instead – going for comfort this time.

It was the busiest I’ve seen Sleazies in years. It also turns out I kind of new the soundman from years ago in Barfly when my old band You Can’t Eat The Word Food played there. Typically the Queer Theory line-up was awesome; Katy Dye, Ms True Love Waits, Kavita Bhardwaj, Sarah Scott, Miss Leggy Pee, King Biff and Black Doves were also in attendance. Sadly I had to leave early as I was exhausted but I had a brilliant night indeed! My next projected appearance is Spangled Cabaret in its new home The Blue Arrow on the 5th of March 😉

Goodbye 2017

I’ll let you into a little secret…I blog in the bath! Have done for nearly 3 years 😄 It’s the only place I can feel sure to get an hour or so to blog undisturbed. Today is no exception – sorry about the mental image!

This will be my last post this year. I have been neglecting my page of late, partially as I feel the posts may become repetitive. My outings are mainly to my own shows and there aren’t always funny or notable tales to relate about them bar showing you what I wore or telling you who I played with. I counted a total of 38 Anna Secret Poet shows this year – it was 25 in 2016. That’s rather good I think. I’ve came a long way from skulking about the house for years yearning to cross the threshold and I’m so glad I finally did. Firsts this year include;

Anna travelling from Glasgow to Edinburgh by train plus wondering about the capital and sitting in a cafe to order food

Anna travelling from my home to town by bus (or getting on a bus in general, now I don’t use a ticket with photo ID 😉)

Being touched inappropriately by someone taking photos at a show at McChuills who then never shared them…

There are probably more to list but at the moment that’s all I can think of. Making a lot of new friends and contacts is definitely the best thing. It has been a while since I last asked (well, begged) for a gig. More often than not they’re offered to me these days and I very rarely turn them down without good reason. Usually that reason is down to it being short notice like the last 2 I declined. There waa something like a couple of hours before commencement. That’s a shame but it was probably for the best.

I’ll always remember my first night out back in March 2015 Anna’s Alive. I organised it with a couple of friends from work and only one of them ended up coming. A lady callef Andy. I was good friends with her but lost contact with her a mere fortnight afterwards. She never returned my messages and a year later I had learned she’d died. Murdered by her controlling partner. That still makes me very sad and I doubt if I’ll ever get over that fully. As a tribute to her I regularly sing the song we wrote together ‘Bonus Sausage‘. I reckon she’d be very tickled to see that go down well like it usually does. She never got to see Anna in action.

At the beginning of December I took part in a photoshoot at the Britannia Panopticon with a host of other drag queens and kings. It was for DragOpticon promotional purposes and I only just received my individual shots the other day. The group shots will hopefully be unveiled at a later date. They were taken by the infinitely awesome Debbie McCall AKA Galactic Carnival.

I took some photos myself backstage which I shall share presently. It was a busy day for me that day actually. After the photoshoot I changed into a different outfit and hotfooted it to the underground to visit John and Tricia from the Well Happy Band as we had a gig in Edinburgh that night. That was also Anna’s first time on the tube too. Boy it warm down there 😄

I changed back into polka dots before heading to Edinburgh. It was a great gig actually – the crowd were well up for it! Martin Windebank took a snap or two of me inbetween setting up. I was well photographed that day for sure.

The next day I found some time to try on a couple of new dresses I’d gotten recently. One ended up being one of my most liked photos on Instagram and the other one takes me into another dimension!

The next gig was Dr Sketchy’s 10th Birthday. I just sang a couple of songs at that whilst some of the girls were posing. It was great fun and I went tartan at that again. There was official photography taking place but I doubt I’ll ever see any of that.

Next show was at the Flying Duck supporting Scunner and Spread Eagle. That was a great night! It’s always great to hang out with Paul Puppet and I’m grateful for being asked along. I did a whole set with backing tracks this time and went down a storm 😊

Last gig of the year was a spectacular one! The Colonel Mustard Xmas Disco Ball at St Lukes in Glasgow, an old church renovated into a venue and restaurant. Beautiful it was. It was an all day event – the doors opened around 1pm I think. I was to be on early in the afternoon as part of the Spangled Cabaret segment before the bands went on.

This is how I looked!

This is me posing with Colonel Mustard and his kids. Just before the photo was taken by the Dijancer he’d told his kids that I was coming home to be their new mother haha! 😄

I had problems getting my backing tracks to work but hobbled through anyway and received a great reception. The evening did go downhill on a personal level however…

…I drank too much I’m ashamed to say. You’d think I’d know my limits by now! I was sick all down my Star Trek dress and slipped away without saying goodbye out of sheer embarrassment. I was on a bus home by 8pm and I awoke in the morning to discover I didn’t have my handbag. I had lost it somehow between the venue and getting it home. My money, bankcards and hairbrush were all in there. What a pisser. Still not heard back from the venue so I’ve written it off. My pal Margaret said that losing your handbag at Christmas is a rite of passage for any woman so I’m looking at it like that. Lesson learned hopefully!

I already have 5 possibly 6 shows planned already next year and I can’t wait to get stuck into them. I hope you all have a fun and prosperous 2018! Cheers 💋💋💋

‘Tits of Steel’ Album Review

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 ❤

Anna Secret Poet ‘Tits of Steel’ review by Chris Herron

Too Busy to Blog (The Four Year Itch)

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