Talking Music: Tom Van Can of First Congress – Part 2

Yesterday, Entertainment South Wales featured the first in a two-part interview with First Congress lyricist and composer Tom Van Can. South Wales based band First Congress are currently enjoying airplay across the UK with two summer singles.

The South Wales band featuring vocals from Neath’s Bronwen Lewis, first two singles Another Life and Help Yourself are currently getting exposure on BBC Radio Wales.

Today, Andy finds out about First Congress’s forthcoming projects.

Tom Van Can of First CongressTom Van Can of First Congress

Tom Van Can of First Congress

If you had to pick one song which best defines you now, what is it and why?
I think The First which was our first track to be play listed on Radio 2 is quintessential First Congress – it features lovely harmonies from Bronwen and co-lead singer Pauline Scanlon from Dingle in Ireland – so it has both a traditional Celtic folky feel combined with real drums and a drum machine to lift it firmly free into a modern groove – in terms of the marriage of lyric and arrangement – story and feel it’s our best bit of music and it was played more than any other debut single ever on Radio 2. 

Have you get any live dates coming up and what can people expect from your shows?
We want our live shows to reflect the rich arrangements that are on our album On A Promise – to do this we need quite a large band and lots of rehearsal – we will start touring early next year when we will be able to give our fans a truly fantastic aural and visual immersive experience – so watch this space!  

Having said that, we will be doing a mini tour of listening parties that will include listening to vinyl pressings of the album (which we mastered at Abbey Rd) combined with sneak peaks of acoustic versions of songs from album 2 – we want our fans to be involved in the choice of the best dozen songs from the twenty-four we have written for our follow-up album. 

Do you prefer listening to Vinyl or downloads?
Personally I love vinyl – both the sound and the experience of playing it – I like the fact that, as a listener, you respect the order of the songs that the artist intended by listening in the vinyl form. Our album On A Promise is in a very specific order that we spent a lot of time and thought on – if listened in the right order it takes the listener on a journey from pain through struggle to hope and then eventually peace and a kind of redemption. 

What are you currently listening to?
Siôn Russell Jones – Diamonds and Gold, Foy Vance – Coco, Lou Reed – Sweet Jane and Tanita Tikaram – Glass Love Train

Where can people find out more about your music?
People can find our singles and acoustic and instrumental versions of our singles on Spotify – we also can be found on Facebook twitter and Instagram our website is

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