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Surrounded by clothes in his wardrobe studio, Pulco is the current recording project of ex-Derrero singer/guitarist Ash Cooke. In 2002, the band split and Ash decided to concentrate on helping raise his newly born son in the wilds of North Wales. Although he decided (at least temporarily) to leave behind the indie-rock lifestyle, his irrepressible songwriting talent has never waned.
Since leaving Derrero, Ash has released 4 albums and an EP of unassuming music. The albums Wengen & Undersea Adventure feature an array of imaginative arrangements and unusual instruments whilst his most recent album Sorepaw is a stripped-down, much more folky album – intimate and intense.
Pulco music is almost exclusively lo-fi – home-recorded on an old Tascam Portastudio and has been described as left-field folk which transports the listener to a sometimes strange but wonderful world through imaginative lyrics, colourful instrumentation and rich vocal harmonies. In addition to his deft guitar work, Pulco songs feature cheap keyboards, toy instruments and just about anything else that Ash can lay his hands on that add something interesting into the mix.
The Caban (literally, the Cabin), was where the Gilfach Ddu quarrymen gathered for lunch. The lunch break was an opportunity to socialise and discuss current affairs.
The Caban's President read aloud from the newspaper and announced details of local events such as concerts and special chapel services. It was an honour to be elected President of the Caban. It meant the men greatly respected your wisdom and integrity.
The men sat in a strict order, based around the stove, which stood in the middle of the room radiating its welcome warmth – with the youngest boys sat closest to the door.
What with the stove and wet coats drying, the atmosphere in the Caban must have been warm but muggy — and the ffowntan (or ‘fountain’), as the tea-urn was called, would be at a constant simmer, ready to brew the lunchtime tea. It was a cardinal sin to let it boil dry!
The quarrymen had their own cabanod, and often held eisteddfodau there, with all sorts of competitions, from solo recitations to ambulance teams.
"You didn’t need the ‘Snowdon Echo’ or any local paper. There were people from from Waunfawr, Caernarfon, Llanrug, Cwm y Glo, all meeting there. So you knew what was happening in that village."
"There was a huge red fire awaiting us all."