Tag Archives: gender bender

Livin’ My Pinup Dream!

Recently as I spend more and more time on Instagram and less time here (sorry WordPress) I find myself drawn heavily ever increasingly to the pinup scene. The fire has also been stoked by spending time around a fair amount of burlesquers at my gigs too and I really really want to join in! A couple of weeks ago I had another photoshoot – which I shall share in another post soon I promise – but last week I decided I wanted to actually plan a specific shoot based around a pinup look. To that end I elected to hop onto eBay and search for some gorgeous dresses. I watched a handful (that I sadly was outbid upon) but gained a lovely blue Hellbunny polka dot dress with a halterneck. It arrived 2 DAYS LATER! What service 😊Happily its arrival coincided with an empty house and I was able to try it on unhindered by the constraints of time. I would have to get a petticoat at some point but I’d worry about that later. Swiftly I de-haired my legs, face and chest and was ready to begin. There was no question about stockings and suspenders – they were an absolute must 😉Truly it’s one of the most magnificent dresses I’ve ever owned and I instantly felt like I had to share it. I decided I’d wear it at The Dragopticon Show that Friday! To wind down I changed my hair for a straighter style and dressed down. I ended up taking a few saucy photos about the house which is always fun. Here are some of the highlights 😘It was just like old times! Going out dressed up is fun to an extent but it’s much more comfy in the house. I was able to pack my suitcase in readiness for the Friday show at the Britannia Panopticon. When the day came around I was able to purchase a petticoat en route. A lovely lady called Holly, who was coming to the show, informed me that her shop sold them so I dropped by to do just that. I’m so glad I did as it made the dress sing even more!A bonus was I called my wife who was with my sister and her partner and they were just about to order food around the corner so I was able to pop out and join them 😄 I may have turned a few heads!The night went swimmingly. In charge was Alana Duvey who was as amazing as ever! Also on the bill were Dharma Geddon, Pebblez, Dorian T. Fisk and Alfie Ordinary. Official photos will appear at some point but I have one or two audience ones to share here for the moment…Chris Grayson managed this one of me which I rather like 😊My sister Diane took a few phone pics tooI also managed to get a wee selfie with her too at the end!Here are links to my 2 sets on Youtube! Thank you to Fiona McCann for filming them. You can also see everyone elses from the main Dragopticon page 😉Anna Secret Poet, Dragopticon 2/8/19, Set 1Anna Secret Poet, Dragopticon 2/8/19, Set 2

I feel I should point out that my intended shoot has yet to take place. I have not decided who to work with and where so these amateur efforts don’t count 😜

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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 😉

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 😄

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 😉 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! 😄

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.

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!

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 😉

‘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