Tag Archives: glasgow

Annaburgh!

I’ve had a great week so far!

On Monday I was at the Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow University, for Spangled Cabaret. A fantastic line-up as always featuring Paul Puppet, Earnest & Wilde, Stephen Watt, Tom Harlow, Raven Rose, Brandy Montematre, Professor Cogsworth and Lacy Rain. Though not extremely busy everyone that was there clearly wanted to be there so a great night was had by all. The awesome Debbie McCall (AKA Galactic Carnival) was there too and snapped some photos of us all. This is one she took of me ๐Ÿ˜Š

The legend that is Stephen Watt also gave me a lift home afterwards which is fantastic. It went on till after 11 and I would have got home at stupid o’clock otherwise. He also snapped a few pictures and took a short video as shown here.

Here are a few other pics I took after getting ready in a dark corner as everything else was locked (uni hasn’t started yet which would explain the sparse attendance…that and the Edinburgh Fringe more of which shortly).

On Wednesday I had a half day from work as I was going through to Edinburgh to do a little spot on a friends Free Fringe show. Natalie Sweeney Potter had kindly invited me onto the bill of ‘Funny Lassies’. I decided to make the day of it and justify the train fare. I got changed in work and headed straight for the train figuring it would save me doing it there and it means I could spend most of the day mingling with the crowds.

Apologies for the tartan spam! I just love this dress and I figured as I was heading to our nation’s capital I’d tartan myself up. I chose my knee high boots as they are comfy to wear for hours at a time.

I did a lot of walking as I had time to kill. Edimburgh is not recommended to be traversed in heels I should add and my calves are not happy with it. I’d say it was worth it though as overall it was a great experience and I didn’t once get any hassle. I popped into a few different places for a drink here and a bite to eat there without fuss. Possibly because at this time of year there are a lot of colourful folk about so maybe I kind of blended into the background a bit.

One of the highlights was bumping into a comedian I had the pleasure of sharing a bill with back in May, a chap called Obie. He was flyering for his show so I popped in to see that. Very funny guy indeed. Great crowd, nice intimate venue. ยฃ5 for a beer and a bourbon too ๐Ÿ˜‰

I had also arranged to meet up with Jenny Bside who is an entertainer mining a similar territory to myself. She is up from London to do a whole bunch of shows. Sadly I couldn’t catch her performance as I had to make the train and it was a long journey home. She stayed for mine though which was very kind indeed (plus she took these 2 photos).

Natalie wasn’t there as she took the night off but the Lady Shona and Lubna Kerr were. They were a couple of lovely ladies indeed and very funny too. It was a shame I wasn’t able to spend more time hanging out with them or be around in general. I had to get changed back to normal and hot foot it to the train station which was all up hill then down hill pushing past lots of slowmoving or inert people who conversely were in no rush at all ๐Ÿ˜„. I just caught a train after 9pm and after a change of train then bus I was in for about half 11.

I wish I’d taken more photos too – would have loved one with the castle in the background but I only managed one with Arthur’s Seat. Maybe I’d do it again but it would be ideal to have company next time as spending most of the day to myself was a bit tiresome. They could have carried one of my cases! ๐Ÿ˜„

Festivals, Photoshoots and Eyebrows oh my!

As I have been too busy to post in the last couple of months I thought I’d have a go today at sorting that out. June and July were fun indeed! In the middle of June I was at Eden Festival – my first proper festival experience. In spite of it being a total wash-out I had a great time. I was down with The Well Happy Band and we played a total of 3 gigs over the course of the weekend. In non Anna circumstances I reckon the Eden weekend would have merited a whole post to itself but I shall move on.

My first proper hosting gig went without incident thank goodness. I compered Queer Theory at Nice n’ Sleazy on the 14th of June. Apparently it is the first time it ever ran to schedule in fact! I elected to not hog the limelight too long and let the other acts get on with it. I doubt if I’ll be asked back to do it again though as I don’t think I’m host material. The first photos are ones I took myself backstage.

These were some of the better photos of me that night as snapped by Martin J Windebank.

On the 24th of June I undertook one of my odder shows. It was at a nightclub called Victorias in Glasgow and it was a benefit gig for a lady to raise money to buy a prosthetic arm. I shared the bill with some of my favourite comedians; Kavita Bhardwaj, Natalie Sweeney Potter, Aaron Wilkie and Andrew Ogilvie. Unfortunately given the venue’s reputation as a nightclub a lot of folk didn’t turn up for the comedy part of the evening which commenced sometime after 9. Lack of microphone stand led me to shout all my words out to be heard over my amp. Amusing I suppose. This is one of the few usable pics I took that night after changing.

At the end of June a window opened up for me to do a little bit of dress-up at home which is increasingly rare these days. It enabled me to try out some new outfits I had acquired recently from an aunt and some charity shop excursions.

I enjoyed all those looks, especially with fresh shorn legs! But my favourite was a tartan skater dress that I picked up earlier that day for the princely sum of ยฃ2.49 โค

I loved this dress so much I elected to wear it for my first proper photoshoot which I had scheduled for the middle of July. This was to be with my friend Gary at GAK Photography, a Glasgow based photographer who specialises in cosplay shoots. We did it in a local beauty spot on a very rainy day but the results were mainly satisfactory. At this moment I have only had 2 edited pictures from the shoot and they are reproduced by kind permission below. When I see more I’ll no doubt share them incessantly!

Here are a few odds and ends from the dress-up session in my house to mop them up so to speak.

Over the last few months I have been working towards writing some new songs with the view to having an album out before Christmas. I have now amassed enough for an album and only need now record them in the appropriate fashion. I’ve also been enjoying trying these new songs out live at my last 3 shows at The Blue Chair, McPhabbs and The Project Cafe. In particular my new song ‘Eyebrows!’ has been going down a storm. To this end I decided to bring this forward as a single to promote ahead of my album. I recorded it on Friday evening and paired it with an outtake from my last Chairman Cow album called ‘P.S. Smell Me’.

Here is a link to download and or stream it completely free of charge! Anna Secret Poet – ‘Eyebrows!’ Also this is the cover art for it, I took it at McPhabbs. I was so excited to pose with this antique telephone!

Here are some photos from the last 3 gigs, all of them by me except the blurry action shot which I guess is by Fergus Mitchell.

I’ve a busy week ahead next week! 3 shows on Monday (Spangled at QMU, Glasgow University), Wednesday (Funny Lassies at Kilderkin as part of the Edinburgh Fringe) and Saturday (Pride at the 13th Note Cafรจ). Also I’ve a wee photoshoot on Saturday afternoon with Galactic Carnival that I’m looking forward to immensely. I hope to be sharing loads more photos again very soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Health Service Drove me to Drink

I’m a decent person I like to think

but the NHS has drove me to drink

I’m not saying I’ve never drank before

but recently I’ve been drinking more

I tanned a bottle of cider last night before tea

whilst trying not to let it get to me

my rum intake has dramatically increased

in an attempt to subdue this many headed beast!

 

If I had to offer advice to a novice

I’d tell them not to work in an office

they’re definitely not for the faint of heart

they’ll most likely tear your soul apart

like a Cenobite or a spoiled angry child

they claw me with drivel and drench me in bile

it’s a nest of vipers with little respite

try not to move suddenly or they’ll bite!

 

Perhaps they were once decent like me

or am I overdosing on diplomacy?

Surely they weren’t always as difficult as this

forever lost in a crimson mist,

grumpy, unstable with tempers short

I’m sure you know the sort

I do wish they’d stop and consider

the plight of my poor liver

 

*Obviously this ode is not directed at the Health Service itself – as an institution it does some sterling work. It’s primarily aimed at figures who are corroding this great organisation from within ๐Ÿ™‚

Bus Stop Poem (First Draft)

The following is a first draft of a poem I’ve been thinking about for a little while now. I seem to spend a lot of time waiting for and then sitting on buses late at night these days. It’s possible I could continue it further if I could find the time…

My eyes flick between my watch

and the deserted road ahead

how lovely would it be just now

to be all tucked up in bed?

I try to change the subject

instead reflecting on the day

more or less the usual shite

dressed up a different way

my hands began to shake

but not in the formal manner

as anger rose within me

like if I was David Banner

my face was incandescent

the rage was hard to rein

more difficult than quantum physics

or a semen stain

there should have been two buses by now

I stamp my little feet

The sound echoes noisily

down the empty street

I contemplate my lack of faith

in everything – myself included

I’ve far more diverse concepts and areas

in which I am deluded

my flight from god was easy

that’s god with a small ‘g’

are the lies I tell myself

worse than the lies that they tell me?

Errant vegetation hits me in the face

blown on an icy breeze

and I wonder distractedly if leaves

are called leaves because they always leave

I ask myself out loud

and get no definitive reply

then I notice some other people

standing nearby

a cis couple – not talking

as if in a mood

an older guy – thoroughly pished

tucking messily into some takeaway food

I think it’s chips

as I’m hit with a vinegary aroma

I close my eyes to concentrate

promising to control my

urge to seek solace in a bag myself

I’d have to abandon my post

I’ll just wait till I get home

and I can maybe make some toast!

Then out of the gloom a cheerful sight

the bus magically appears

I search my pockets for my pass

and inwardly cheer ๐Ÿ™‚

Sinister winking, Jesus as a woman and looking to the future in general

Sometimes I hate having to title things, I may come back and change this at one point retroactively. I actually did that with my first four posts as I had originally only given them dates as names. They were even harder to name as they were almost themeless ramblings – I say almost as crossdressing was the main unifying theme.

Well I’ve had a few more outings since my last post proper. One of those was as an extra in a Black Doves music video being filmed partly at the Rio Cafรจ in Partick. The story was set in the sixties so I donned my wig with prominent bangs and wore a polka dot dress…

This was another after work activity so I got dressed in my usual toilet and popped along for a few hours. I had to stop off in a nearby Sainsburys to pick up makeup wipes so that was officially Anna’s first shop visit. Damn the lighting is unforgiving in those places! Amusingly I also passed a couple of folk from my work on the main road. One clocked me and the other didn’t. The lady who did was full of compliments the next day which did brighten the otherwise tired and hungover morning I was to have afterwards.

Aside from the band themselves and some of their friends I was joined by singing sensation Violet Duff who looked amazing as usual and a very dapper looking Paul Puppet. He is the vocalist in a band called ‘Scunner’ of whom I’ve had the pleasure of playing alongside a few times over the years. He is also the man behind Spangled Cabaret and therefore the first person to give me a chance. What a guy!

The next gig I had was on Saturday the 17th of December at the Sinister Wink. It was awesome to once again be guests of The Creative Martyrs at the Bungo in the southside of Glasgow. Also joining me was Miss Innocence Bliss, one of my favourite burlesquers and a lovely person to boot. I learned a Christmas song as it was technically a Christmas gig. I don’t normally do festive songs but one of my exceptions to the rule and ticker of obscure boxes is that old Go Go’s classic ‘I’m gonna spend my Christmas with a Dalek’. It’s a real song honestly, it’s from the sixties at the height of Dalekmania. Gabriel Featherstone popped along too which was cool, he’d brought along his friends Chris and Boo too. Whilst I was chatting to them upstairs before the show a lady from my work arrived with some friends for a drink. Instictively I waved over and she eventually realised who I was – I often forget I must look so different all dressed up. We had a lovely brief chat and she joined her friends again.

As you can see I went for that Mrs Claus that I did last year when I had a little Christmas shoot. A couple of other people took photos. This next one was by Emma Fork.

A lady called Ruth EJ Booth took a few crackers too and she has kindly allowed me to share them here :).

A great gig overall. I did my usual mixture of poetry and music and generally had a ball. Thinking to myself that that was me until New Year. Wrong! On the Monday I received a wee message from Dean from Black Doves about doing a turn at the last Queer Theory of the year on the Wednesday. To me that was a no brainer as I’ve been loving the whole being offered gigs thing these days. There have been a couple I’ve sadly had to turn down but that’s not bad considering how many I’ve said yes too.

I met my friend Deedee for dinner upstairs in the venue before the gig. Nice n’ Sleazy was the place, a Glasgow stalwart, one of the few. I just had chips I must confess as I was being a cheap ass. It was compered as usual by the incomparible Callum MacLeod. Joining me on the bill were Kavita Bhardwaj the comedian (and a good pal of mine these days), Ruby Waters (a brilliant drag artiste – one of her acts was ‘Alien’ themed and saw her dress up as Ripley!), Boris Gay (not sure how to describe Boris Gay but I thoroughly enjoyed her), the Black Doves (who brought some sparkle as usual) and Zyna Hel (who was sonically mesmerizing and gorgeous to behold in equal measure).

I snapped these pics backstage. They turned out okay actually, there was a wee ledge I could rest the phone on to do so. Someone was taking pictures so hopefully I’ll get to see them in the new year. It was getting late and Deedee offered me a lift up the road which I duly accepted. She dropped me off at a roundabout 15 mins or so from my house. She wasn’t local so I didn’t want to bamboozle her with directions. Also she gave me a dress which she had purchased recently that didn’t fit. Walking up the hill to my house in heels with a guitae and suitcase is not something I want to repeat any time soon I can tell you!

Anna Bru

I’ve been working on this off and on for a couple of months now but finally finished it last week. Even found time to make a wee video for it too so that if you’d rather not read it you can watch it instead!

So here’s my tribute to Scotlands other national drink ๐Ÿ™‚


‘Anna Bru’

Going to change my name to Anna Bru

The Secret Poet will no longer do

Such is my love for Irn Bru

– my downfall in a can,

I crave it in the morning after breaking my fast

Sometimes I think I glug it too fast

Besotted doesn’t cover it ya bass!

I’ll share it with no one,

Like nectar it’s sublime

It makes me love it more every time

Like an elegant but rusty sunrise

Dancing playfully on my tongue,

Glass bottle is best but it’s got to be freezing

The hit’s more intense is my reason

My poor teeth may disagree over time

And perhaps my belly will too,

It has to be ‘Barrs’ it must be said

None if this own brand shite instead

The one with the secret recipe

That only a few people know,

Sadly you no longer get your 30 pence back

So these days I stick to the multipacks

May the girders ever support my world

And maintain an exciting fizz!

Catch the Tiger

Titles are sometimes a problem for me these days, especially with wee peripheral posts like this. I’m afraid it’ll mainly be an excuse to show off some pictures I took before my gig last Wednesday at Brass Monkey. This was the relocated Rockus comedy gig which I sort of unofficially headlined in a fashion (believe or not I’m still a bit shy about being the centre of attention after all these years 😄).

I made a bit of effort with cinching and padding as I don’t offen wear figure hugging bodycon dresses. Hopefully it looks okay.

I took that particular picture just down from my work on the way to the station. I don’t have many outside photos and I think this one turned out okay!

When I arrived there the place was fairly empty so I bought a drink and got comfy. A young woman came over and asked if I’d mind her and her mother sitting at the next table. Of course I didn’t mind…and the evening began. They were great company – Stephanie and Patsy they were called. We talked about a lot of things (including make-up and Stephanie actually gave me a Mac Primer tester she had in her bag) but generally they were intrigued by me so I had to field various questions regarding what I was up to dressed like a woman in a city centre pub. I explained about the comedy night I was to be performing at and Stephanie persuaded her mum that they should stay for it. 

It was a wee shame as she did get rather drunk over the course of the evening even to extent of the bar staff refusing to serve her anymore. I blame the shots she kept buying us! Sadly she stormed out before I left and I never got to say a proper goodbye. Her mother had explained that they had just had some bad news regarding a close relative and that’s why she was partying so hard.

Eventually I was joined by my fellow performers – a cracking bunch indeed! It was great to hang out with Daniel Drever again as I feel I’ve found a kindred spirit and possible future collaborator. Compere and event organiser Gillian also announced her pregnancy which was lovely news indeed for her and her partner. I seem to also remember we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to a chap named Kelvin who is one of Glasgow’s longest serving gig promoters. I myself have had gigs off him many times in my formative years. Amusingly he didn’t recognise me when I briefly spoke to him!

Also on the bill along with Daniel and myself were Christopher Scott, Natalie Sweeney Potter and Charlene Petersen. A most talented and amusing bunch indeed. I think I’m  appearing with Natalie again in November so I’m looking forward to that. This was also the first gig I was able to distribute copies of my CD ‘Vowel Movements’ at. I’ve been left with only a handful so I need to make more for next week when I appear at The Blue Chair again.

Now to the title, ‘Catch the Tiger’. This is the name of my latest composition which I’m learning so I can start putting it in the set asap. Having had some slight creative drought of late I happily seem to be experiencing some ‘idea rain’ if you catch my drift. I’ve completed a couple of songs this past week which is encouraging by my standards. One of them is (hopefully) amusing enough to enter Anna’s set. It’s a song about seizing the day and doing it for yourself but as ever seen through my slightly askew perspective. I recorded a version of it on Friday so I may try and share it at some point soon ๐Ÿ˜‰