Profile – Tim Bradshaw / Non Filter

Tim Bradshaw hosts the eclectic music show Non Filter every Sunday from 7-9pm. Here Tim talks about his career, the show and his other activities, including teaching and touring.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m a multi instrumentalist musician. I’ve done a lot of touring and recording with some big names and not so big names. I lead the Performance Course at BIMM Birmingham and do this radio show! Vegan runner, father, husband, but still a fan of beer or a delicious cocktail.

What is Non Filter about?

The show Non Filter is an eclectic radio show that goes out on Sunday evenings at 7 PM UK time. I think the Non Filter bit is about being open to playing lots of different types of music though, ultimately, I suppose I am the filter. Maybe it’s not that deep!

What was the idea behind the show?

I’m influenced by radio shows who’s identity isn’t defined by the genre of music they play. I figure that most people enjoy music of a lot of different types so I try to reflect that in the songs I play. Generally speaking the idea was to have a show that reflected the way I like to listen to music. I also completely disinterested by the concept of celebrity so I’ll play music that’s really well known or completely up and coming. In fact I love the idea that I can play Smokey Robinson next to Lottie Blogg or Pulp next to PIP. The music is the only factor, not how fashionable or well known it is.

How do you select the music? Is it easy to come up with an eclectic selection every week?

I always have my ear open and if I hear something I like then I look it up and find out what it is. Keeping the right balance within the show can be tricky as it’s easy to disappear down the rabbit hole once you find a track you like. So one week there might be a bit of bias towards say Northern Soul or the next HipHop but I try and keep it balanced to some extent. I’m also keen to include non-western music not sung in English. I’ll sometimes get to the end of a show and realise that I didn’t play any French Chanson or Western Swing or something and make a note that the next show needs to include something of that…

You’ve performed with many great artists. Tell us something about your most memorable collaborations and experiences

Well I’ve played with David Gray for years and that initial period when the album White Ladder took off was amazing. The stint I did with John Mayer was also pretty great and through playing with him I got to share a stage with the likes of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Aliesha Keys. Playing with the Afro Celt Sound System meant I got to perform with some awesome musicians from Guinea and Senegal as well as those from the UK and Ireland. Collaborating with Epic Arts in Kampot in Cambodia on a project for Water Aid was also pretty special.

Where was the best venue you’ve played?

There’s a lot! But ones that stand out would be the likes of Earls Court, Wembley, Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks and the Hollywood Bowl. Playing the Fillmore in San Francisco for the first time was pretty cool too. Anywhere with a bit of history is great. The Fox Theater in Atlanta is like that for me but there’s loads of them!

You do a lot of teaching. What do you get from working with young musicians?

I get to witness younger people get excited about their creativity, to realise their goals, and also to see things in my own professional practice through a different lens. It’s a different headspace completely to performing and I like the balancing effect it has. Much less about me, much more about them.

What music is exciting you right now?

This is the Kit are consistently pretty great as are Sleaford Mods and Dry Cleaning. The Tiger Lillies are a perennial favourite and I’m going through a bit of a late 60s Mexican Rock n Roll phase at the moment.  I heard Panic Shack for the first time the other day too and that was pretty fun. Gimmie That Boom by Skindred is an awesome tune as well.