This is not Wembley – there are not tens of thousands of people in the audience. But don’t tell the Denim crew, they are convinced this is just another stop on the world tour. Head to toe in fabulousness, they stomp onto a stage much too small, clad in glitter, sequins, revealing slits and impossibly high heels. They are Man (the gorgeous falsetto), Woman (the blonde beehive); Jew (neon dreadlocks), the Virgin Mary (caramel bass) and Islam (bejewelled and revealing). They are Spice Girls on crack; they are Lady Gaga’s erotic wet dream; they are frankly insane. But man can they pump up a crowd.
The range of Denim: The World Tour is impressive, from deep Barry White bass tones up to the high falsetto of Sam Smith. The first couple of songs – explosive Gaga mash-ups with a #DenimUnzipped Radio 1 Live Lounge piss-take – get the audience raving, hot and alternative and insane. It’s everything we want in our jeans.
The remainder of the show plays out like a typical concert slowly descending into chaos. Each performer gets their solo moment, which exposes the flaws in this fearsome five-some. Woman (Shirley Du Naughty) combines 50s housewife with a rap breakdown in a beautifully schizophrenic turn; Virgin Mary (Aphrodite Greene) strips back some Cyndi Lauper to show off the lower end of her range that won over her first ex-husband, Donald Trump. Everything is over the top, done with gusto.
But as the show goes on, it gets tired – as do the voices and harmonies of the group. What starts as a tight, synchronous set of sexy sirens slowly stutters and stumbles. Glamrou loses her costume and is forced to rattle through “So Emotional” while distractedly trying to clothe herself – it’s a bit of a hot mess. Props to some comedy gold here though, the dedication to the mirage of the Wembley crowd. Man (Crystal Vaginova) pays homage to her dead sister Diamonte with a Beyoncé-like “I Fucked Here”. But 45 minutes singing at the top of her range takes its toll and the song needs bringing down a semitone to prevent cracking on the high notes.
In the end, it is left to Jew (Elektra Cute) to whip up some wonder and bring Denim back from the brink. She removes the façade, reveals that Wembley is really a dank, underground archway and belts out “Rise Like A Phoenix” with such power as to make Conchita Wurst herself proud. This moment is the crux of the show, the message and the heart that Denim is all about. This is the 5-star performance.
In the end, Wembley is just a state of mind. Denim pull up their rainbow socks and end on a high, with the audience whipped into such a state of fervour that may actually raise the roof. Well saved, Elektra.
Denim: The World Tour plays Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 until 27 August 2017. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.