After a sell-out global pop tour that came to an earth-shattering finale in Edinburgh last year – Denim broke up. Humanity has been in mourning. But now, through pop, laughter and love, these five queens will reunite for one night only. All month. ‘A quintet of queens with voices as true as their wigs are fake’ ***** (Scotsman). ‘Pop legends in their own minds, this swaggering five-piece retool Whitney and Beyonce songs in a smart, uplifting knees up’ **** (Guardian). ‘UK Drag Supergroup Denim is the Queer Spice Girls we never knew we needed’ (NewNowNext.com).
I’m not a fan of supergroups or reunions but put any reservations behind as the girls are back in town. We all know the names – Aphrodite, Crystal, Elektra, Glamrou and Shirley – and have missed them as they’ve gone off to their separate pursuits. The question is, can Denim: The Reunion Tour pull off a mixed audience in a hot, sweaty Edinburgh tent? Judging by the amount of people standing at the end, I’d say the answer is yes.
This is a crowd-pleasing performance but still has some bite. The songs are diva-tastic and there are enough torch songs to please most people. Admittedly some of the music is not stuff I’m familiar with but the performances make up for that. All five members of Denim put in strong and powerful shifts, filling us in on what they’ve been up to. Elektra’s and Glamrou’s confessionals worked best for me with the former sliding in a good Clause IV joke.
By no means is this a flawless drag act and they definitely play it for laughs but that works. We have smut, unnecessary exposure of flesh, multiple costume changes, over-blown singing and clap-a-long musical accompaniment. And what’s wrong with that? The crowd go away happy and Denim enjoy themselves, so everybody wins.