Tag Archives: drag

Marquez Studios Photoshoot, Feb 2019

In the Glasgow cabaret world, one of its finest documentors is a lady called Amy Irene Marquez and I’d been dying to work with her for ages. She has been responsible for some of the coolest portraits I’ve seen these past few years and I finally got the chance to work with her in February. I confess I was a bit shy, as I still am around photographers. I guess I’m so used to taking photos by myself. It is different on my own especially as I hold back less. We got on very well though and we managed to get some really nice photos in such a short space of time. I hadn’t really thought of a concept as such but I had brought along a few things in my bag, namely my ukulele, a replica human brain and my portable cassette player with headphones and a couple of tapes. Sadly we didn’t factor in the brain but if there is ever another time I get some photos done I plan to include it.

You can check out her work on Facebook and Instagram 😉

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The Party Continues…

My new album has been out in the world for a month now and so far it’s been received well by those who have heard it 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) (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 🙂 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

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’ 😉

‘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 😄

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…

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!

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! 😉

Album Review: “Tits of Steel”

Many thanks to Eleanor Burns for this very awesome review of my latest album! I’ve already began work on the follow-up 🙂 You can find it on iTunes, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon and many other reputable digital outlets! X

Persephone's Playpen

A brilliantly eclectic combination of performance poetry and punk …

I was lured to this album by C. T. Herron’s glowing review that gave me very high expectations for it, and they were not disappointed … much to my relief, as Anna has been a supporter of this blog since its early days, so it is really nice to be able to write of her work with heartfelt praise.

I should point out, though, that the title claim of Track 4, “I Don’t Know Any Funny Songs,” is a blatant lie, or at any rate unwarranted modesty, as this album is a masterpiece in ironic wit. There seems to be something about Celtic accents that lend themselves nicely to that, so that we can hardly concur when Anna sings later on the album, “I wish I was French but I’m Scottish instead.” (Track 7, “Anna en Francais”) Somehow, her combination…

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