Review: Denim

VAULT Festival

Yaaaaaaaaas!!! Gory glorious glamorous gaudy grass routes glam kweens Denim are serving some sass deep in the Vaults. Just go see them and thank me later.

Denim have been gigging solidly since forming in Cambridge in 2010 and over the years they’ve developed a unique take on drag performance which borrows from a rich history, whilst also looking to the future of the form.

Their most recent venture sees them move away from a cabaret setting and into the Vaults Festival. It is however just the space that’s different and you can see Denim are trying to find themselves in a new mode. It’s only really when they erupt into the audience anarchically that you get the vibe of what they’re really capable of.

This is a show that wears its story lightly, its contouring heavy and throws in a dash of politics just for good measure. Did I mention gentrification yet? There’s a kind of theme to this show in that they’re loosely talking about the demise of queer spaces in London. It’s an important issue and I’m glad they’re adding to the conversation.

What’s beautiful about Denim is that they are as sincere as they are sardonic. They’ve been gigging for a few years now and it’s clear this marriage of purpose and pleasure has built them a loyal fan base.

They come across as a clean-cut version of the Bloolips, which I think probably says more about the clandestine times we live in rather than any lack of spirit.

In fact it’s when things get messy that Denim are at their best. Some of the unplanned moments were side achingly funny, revealing the sass and charm that’s brimming in all of these performers.

By the end of the show the message is slightly muddled but the audience couldn’t care less as they’re up on their feet cheering the troupe, who storm through the crowd, belting out their hilarious versions of classics in a blistering finale.

Until March 6th

© John Fitzpatrick 2016


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