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Even though he had every intention of pursuing music as a career, Paul Appelkamp went to university nevertheless.
He learnt a lot about politics and was inspired by certain freedom movements and humanitarian problems around the globe.
So, when it came to naming his new band, he came up with Freetown, as in the capital of Sierra Leone, a country that owes its existence to a need to create a home for freed slaves from the US and West Indies.

While the West Afrian country has had many problems since, the ideals behind Freetown still have inspirational value.

"While studying politics I learned about big issues and now I use my music to express my interpretation of those issues," Appelkamp said.

The music is on the band's debut CD, 'The Real Ideal', which will be launched at the Brass Monkey, Cronulla, on Sunday, May 4.
Appelkamp, 22, of Cronulla describes the music as artistic roots and provides vocals, guitar and slide guitar.

He is supported by drummer Mitchell Woods, 22, also of Cronulla, and Adam Somerville, 22, on sax.
Somerville, of Sylvania, adds a jazz influence while Woods provides a heavy rock background.

"Every song has a message to it and it's straight from the heart," Appelkamp said. - The Leader

1. Growing Up
I remember being surrounded by the sounds of Bob Dylan as a child and throughout my school years thanks to my old man. During my teens I dived into Bob Marley and the Wailers. It's funny how you can relate more so to songs written many years ago than you can with modern day ones. These artists were purely honest and did not submit to trend, which makes them timeless. This has been a massive influence on my music.

2. Inspiration
My favourite musicians are Rage Against The Machine, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Bob Brozman, John Butler, Jez Mead, because they were/are all doing something groundbreaking and are pushing music in a positive, new direction. And you can't fake the vibe that they each create.

3. Your Band
I became good mates with Mitch at high school and our similar tastes in music were a common ground for us. We started jamming on and off for a few years. One of our mates met Adam busking in a mall. I had been performing live as a solo act for some years and when Adam came onto the scene we would jam as a duo every now and then and found it fulfilling, as our musical styles complemented each other really well. We played some gigs together but knew we were onto something special when all three of us jammed in the same room for the first time.

4. The Music You Make
Freetown is a hybrid musical force. Paul brings the raggae roots, funk, Mitch brings the tight rocking backbeats and Adam brings the classical jazz and funk to the table. We recorded our debut EP 'The Real Ideal' with Russel Pilling at Damien Gerard's Sound Studios in Sydney. It's a six song belter which is good listening for cruising on the open road, drinking, or thinking. It has funk, rock and meditation songs on it, and it shows our diversity as musicians while also having a consistent Freetown theme. Check it out at

5. Music Right Here, Right Now
On the whole, the Australian music scene is showing great diversity and skill. We have many talented performers and musicians down under. But the Sydney music scene suffers due to a lack of decent music venues. Local musicians find it harder to break through, and poker machines fill the spaces where many good live music venues could be enjoyed. On the other hand though, one may argue that this helps to filter out the less talented musicians who are not ready for the stage.

Who: Freetown
What: 'The Real Ideal' CD Launch
When: Sunday, May 4
Where: Brass Monkey, Cronulla - Brag Magazine


Freetown recorded their EP "The Real Ideal" released May 2008. Tracked, mixed and mastered in a week of hightened activity and creativity, it was recorded at Damien Gerard Studios in Sydney in early 2008 after only six months together and while still a relatively new project. 'The Real Ideal' boasts six of our favourite tracks, with Track 1 'Everybody' in the Triple J Unearthed Roots charts, and Track 4 'Tomorrow' receiving nationwide radio airplay.



Freetown formed in late 2007, with each individual member focused on other projects up to that point. Consisting of Paul Appelkamp on guitar/vocals, Adam Somerville on saxophone and Mitchell Woods on drums, they joined together to push music creatively and aesthetically beyond its limits. They recorded their first EP, "The Real Ideal", in 2008. Their methods are extra tight, whether they are creating hypnotic jungles of sound or fearlessly jamming at the drop of a hat.

The hybrid force known as Freetown expose and question social boundaries through well articulated lyrics, a warm sound, and an original instrumental set up. Remember to open your mind and enjoy a trip to Freetown, "the real ideal".

Influences: Bob Marley, Herbie Hancock, Rage Against The Machine, John Butler, Charlie Parker, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ben Harper, Steve Balbi, Loren, Bonjah, Benjalu, FisherKing, Simon Kelly Band, Move Trees.

Freetown has been receiving airplay on community radio. BLU FM 89.1 in Katoomba, 100.7 Highlands FM in Bowral, PBS, Plenty Valley FM 88.6, Bay FM in Byron Bay, Beau FM in Queensland, and City Park Radio 103.7 in Tasmania are currently playing Track Four ‘Tomorrow’ and are reporting positive public feedback.

Since being added to Triple J Unearthed, Track One ‘Everybody’ has peaked at #10 in the Roots chart and #82 in the Overall chart.

‘Tomorrow’ has been selected for the Home Grown Roots Vol. 3 compilation which boasts artists such as Paul Kelly, John Butler and Ash Grunwald.

At the end of 2008, four of our good friends who comprise the sustainable living organisation MyPower completed their cirsumnavigation of Australia by pushbike.. all 18,000 km of it! Upon return, their promotional and biographical DVD of the journey was released and Freetown are proud to say that two of our tracks are featured throughout, alongside a brand new track by Matt McHugh of 'Beautiful Girls' fame. Check out their website for more information, and to watch the video.

Freetown also have tracks featured in a Youtube video that has managed to get in excess of 14,500 views in 3 months. Videos by this direcor have previously won People’s Choice Award at the Reel Deal 2007 Short Film Festival. ‘Everybody’ and ‘Why’ from our EP ‘The Real Ideal' are reaching people all over the world thanks to this video and Youtube. Go to Youtube, search 'Frederick' and find the "Frederick shows off SYDNEY!!!" video to see one of the more original video bloggers out there.