CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Live venue will be a little off the wall

14 November, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

Sean Ross is launching a new venue that will feature live music and DJs

SEAN Ross has travelled from the shores of a lake in Kenya to the streets of Camden Town, soaking up the sounds of both places and creating something entirely new.

The promoter and radio host, who among other ventures was the owner of the Pineapple pub in Leverton Street – he took it on after it was saved from being turned into homes – this week announced the launch of a bar and diner with live music and DJs.

Fambula, on the corner of Adelaide Road and Chalk Farm Road, looks set to become a landmark in Camden’s music scene.

Sean has all the expertise of running such ventures – he grew up in Belsize Park, went to William Ellis School and ran some of the most renowned club nights NW1 has ever enjoyed.

The Fambula name comes from Sean’s work in Kenya, where he lived for many years – his father was originally from the country – and organised pan-African music event, the Rift Valley Festival.

“Fambula is a slang word in Kenya that means everything is perfect, everything is wicked,” he says.

It was well on its way to becoming the biggest name in east African festivals but security issues – two terror attacks in the country raised the costs of organising the event, while travel advice warned people not to go to Kenya for a time – meant he took his experience running the festival and applied it elsewhere. Sean moved to Kenya in 2009 after selling the Pineapple.

“We ran a place called the Fisherman’s Camp, which was a lodge and a bar,” he recalls.

“It was from this that we started the Rift Valley festival. It became the largest music and cultural event in east Africa, with DJs from all over the world, four stages of acts.

“It became a massive festival and a really great showcase for east African musicians.

“It created connections for people who have gone on to tour around the world.

“I came back five years ago and we began organising day-long festivals at the Lockside Lounge,” he says.

The famous venue is a home from home for Sean as he was one of the team behind the famous House For Rent parties when it was called HQs, which ran for 14 years.

He manages bars at events, including Glastonbury and Womad.

The return to Camden Town is a natural progression for the promoter and combines his excellence in curating music – you can hear him on www.threadsradio.com with his Fambula sessions – with his cocktail skills.

Fambula will feature a mixture of art – the walls will be a gallery showcasing talent such as the first two exhibitors, artists Luke O’Sullivan and Olly Sylvester – while DJs and live acts will entertain. Sean has designed a groundbreaking menu with many classics given a modern twist.

“Fambula is an outlet to bring creative people together,” he adds.

“It is a place where there is a real mixture of people – some coming in before going on to the Roundhouse, for example.

“There is enough footfall to get a good Camden crowd and be a destination bar, a place you can see great art, hear great music and hang out.”

• Fambula opens on Saturday, November 16, at 1 Adelaide Road, NW1.

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