The independent London newspaper

Jigsaw’s a showpiece for new talent

Camden Assembly festival promises to be 'a multi-artist, multi-genre spectacle, playing host to tomorrow’s rising stars'

02 August, 2018 — By Róisín Gadelrab

Jerome Thomas is among the acts set to appear at the Jigsaw Festival this month

CAMDEN Assembly’s commitment to fostering promising new acts culminates in a new festival that is due to take place throughout the month of August.

Following the success of the venue’s Spotlight Series in January, the Assembly introduces Jigsaw Festival, promising to be “a multi-artist, multi-genre spectacle, playing host to tomorrow’s rising stars”.

It will host a line-up of carefully selected up-and-coming acts, chosen by curators and influencers including Live Nation, HOT VOX, BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Ace, iLuvLive, Ticketmaster, Scruff Of The Neck, Glastonbury and Boomtown stages, as well as six nights from The Playmaker Group (The PMG).

Debbie Gayle, event manager for production and management company The PMG, said the organisation had become involved after narrowly missing the date for putting artists forward to play Spotlight earlier this year.

“The festival was brought about by James Anniballi, who does all the bookings for Camden Assembly,” she said.

“In January, Camden Assembly had a very successful season of Spotlight shows. Off the back of that they created Jigsaw Festival, as a sort of a stepping stone for acts who are on the way to the major festivals next summer.

“You get a taster of being part of a huge line-up but all under one roof, so you get the chance to see these acts up close for such a low price.”

The PMG, which specialises in various aspects of the music and entertainment business including artist and DJ representation, often aims to introduce artists from across the UK.

Debbie said: “We tend to work with talent outside London as they tend to get overlooked, so we work with other organisations – Punch Records (based in Birmingham) and Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF). Punch Records is using Jigsaw as the London date of their Welcome To My City tour, headlined by Jerome Thomas. LIMF has an academy where they develop up-and-coming talent, so there are four acts from Liverpool coming down.”


Arts company Punch have selected five emerging artists making waves in their local music scene and will visit each act’s home city on tour, with each date being headlined by the artist from that respective city. East London headliner Jerome will be joined by Birmingham’s Lady Sanity, Liverpool’s MC Nelson, Southampton’s SVGA and Manchester’s Vanessa Maria.

Debbie said: “Three of our events have been curated by Caribbean brand Bruk Out, fronted by BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Seani B. It’s a record label in partnership with Universal and a monthly event. We have strong presence at Notting Hill Carnival – that will be showcased at one of the Bruk Out events.

“We have quite a reputation for artist development and working with artists from a grassroots level. The Playmaker Presents night (August 10) features XamVolo and SubBlue, acts managed by us. We’re putting out fresh sounds from across the UK.”

Faced with a month of gigs to choose from, Debbie picked out her own recommendations.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to the night with XamVolo and SubBlue – quite a lot of soul vibes and also Punch Records with Jerome Thomas – I haven’t seen him live before and I’ve heard a lot about his style and sound, very R&B, soulful but with a different twist.”

Commenting on the choice of Camden for the festival, Debbie added: “It’s undeniable that Camden is a big creative hub in the music scene. I feel that Camden in general is a place where you can be free to be who you want and find yourself, and it is the same for musicians. It’s a place where they have the freedom to explore and find their style.”

The PMG’s dates at the Jigsaw Festival are as follows: International dancehall icon Spragga Benz & Friends – Benz launches album Chiliagon after working with a wealth of British artists including Rodney P, Doc Brown and Illaman (August 8); LIMF Academy Showcase featuring Gazelle, Mary Miller, Remee + guests (August 9); Playmaker Presents… XamVolo & SubBlue – showcasing some of the emerging talent on the PMG roster (August 10); Bashment/Dancehall from BrukOut Meets internationally renowned Soca sound system Flagz Sound Live – Notting Hill Carnival preview (August 11); Welcome to My City with Punch Records (August 30); BrukOut’s 2nd Birthday Bash (August 31).

There are Jigsaw Festival gigs slated for every day in August pulled together by a range of different curators, some of which are free with advanced booking, so check out the listings asap.

• For the full line-up and tickets visit


Share this story

Post a comment