Biographies (5)

Bill Blissett has been playing in blues, rock and jazz bands since the 1960s, touring with The Rolling Stones, Manfred Man, The Hollies, Spencer Davis & Steve Winwood and more as a member of London act Blues By Five.  He’s been in and out of bands and the record industry since migrating to Australia in the late ‘60s, including Melbourne’s Campact, Perth showband The Troupadores, and Powershift featuring Michael Vdelli, Ric Whittle and Gerard Maunick, The Embers with Jeff St John, as well as touring as sideman for Dave Hole, Eugene Hideaway Bridges and many others.

Paul Fitton joined his first band aged 12 and started gigging not long after turning 13.  He migrated to Perth aged 21 and has played in rock bands (Cathedral, Cool Change, Too Easy), a little country act he’d rather forget, Top 40 lounge groups (Chapter, Hotfoot, Rewind – with old friend and now top recording artist Rose Carleo – and more), blues outfits (On The Level – where he worked with both Bill and Jim for 5+ years), countless stand-in appearances with various other bands, and even a ‘British 60s comedy-styled showband’ named The Mersey Allstars!

Jim Awram has played with a veritable ‘who’s who’ of eclectic West Australian rock and blues bands, touring around the country and through South East Asia.  Amongst many others, he’s recorded and/or toured with mainstream pop/rock bands V-Capri, Al Fonzarelli & the Joy Boys, Pulse and Cyclone Tracee; hard rockers The Happy Sinners, The Resonance Project, The Jac Dalton Band, Lady Zeppelin and The Graham Greene Band; played blues and boogie with Mark Vine and, for many years, On The Level; got funky with Saxafunk and Emjay; unleashed his inner Latin rocker with The Australian Santana Experience; and been a folkie with Paul White and The Pink And White Bridge.

Michael Arkins is a Belfast Boy who migrated to Perth in late 1990’s.  In the early days, Mike played Motown and Jimi Hendrix in Belfast clubs in mid-'60s, before progressing to the Irish Showband scene, playing in venues all over Ireland.  During the '80s Mike joined forces with ex-members of Van Morrison’s THEM to form probably the biggest blues/West Coast rock outfit in Ireland at that time, and stints with authentic Chicago blues with the Jim Daly Blues Band, and soul music with the Dusty Hagan Band.  Mike has appeared with Van Morrison and Georgie Fame, on TV shows with Chris De Burg and the Jim Daly Blues Band, toured Ireland with Carey Bell, Muddy Waters’ harp player and in concert backing jazz trombonist George Chisholm, English jazz clarinettist Monty Sunshine and blues great Little Willy Littlefield.  From boot-skootin’ country to pure rock, soul and blues, he’s done it all.

Saturday, 14 October 2017 12:53

About the Band

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Take four experienced, like-minded guys with long performing histories in Perth, interstate and overseas, who enjoy entertaining and love to play blues-based material together, and you have BB & Co – The Band!

Formed early 2017, BB & Co performed their first show at The Ellington Jazz Club that July, attracting significant public and industry interest.  The band has since featured at events and venues such as the 25th Anniversary Blues at Bridgetown Festival, the Araluen Chilli Festival, the Indi Bar, the Perth Blues Club and several private fundraising events.

BB & Co is a high quality, accomplished Blues/Soul/Rock ‘n’ Roll outfit whose repertoire features covers and originals. Song choices are designed for dancing and listening, and appeal to a broad range of tastes as the band pay tribute to artists such as Delbert McClinton, The Allman Bros, Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Joe Bonamassa, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Cocker, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Bonnie Raitt, Keb Mo, ZZ Top, Paul Rodgers and Joe Louis Walker to name a few!

Their new album Let it Shine was launched recently at the Perth Blues Club where the band also performed a selection of their own material for the first time.

Audiences will hear something different and refreshing material-wise, and enjoy the fun the guys have on stage. Experience has shown too that audiences really do love this style of music, and these guys do it well!

Band Line-Up:

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Saturday, 05 August 2017 14:23

Jim Awram (Bass)

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Jim started playing just before he turned 16. His career has been mainly Perth-based with excursions throughout the State and the rest of Australia, as well as South East Asia. 

Jim's musical influences are extensive, which reflects in the many styles of bands and artists he's performed with – for example: 

  • Mainstream pop/rock with 'Capri' 'Al Fonzarelli and the Joy Boys' 'Pulse' 'Cyclone Tracee'
  • Harder Rock/Blues/Progressive with 'The Happy Sinners', 'Resonance Project', 'Jac Dolton Band', 'Lady Zeppelin' and  'Graham Greene Band'
  • Blues/Boogie with 'Mark Vine' and, for many years, 'On the Level'
  • Funk with 'Saxafunk' 'Emjay'
  • Latin/Rock with 'The Australian Santana Experience'
  • Folk with 'Paul White' and 'Pink and White Bridge'

There have also been many freelance and backing performances for local, national and international artists… but now he's VERY happy to have settled into "BB & Co". 

Saturday, 05 August 2017 11:25

Mike Arkins (Drums)

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Mike is a Belfast Boy who migrated to Perth in late 1990s.

In the early days Mike started playing Motown and Jimi Hendrix in Belfast clubs in mid-'60s.  progressing to Cabaret bands backing all the local artists was a major musical learning curve. Late 60’s early 70’s brought experience in the Irish Showband scene, playing in Halls all over Ireland. The Showband scene soon moved to 4-piece horn sections playing Chicago/Blood Sweat & Tears material. Late 70’s saw a return to Cabaret playing with members of the Witnesses Showband who were once resident in Las Vegas and friends with Elvis Presley.

The '80s brought a major step up in experience with Mike joining forces with ex members of Van Morrison’s ‘THEM’. This band was probably the biggest Blues/West Coast Rock outfit in Ireland at that time. The early '90s progressed into the Jim Daly Blues Band, probably the only authentic Chicago Style Blues Band in Ireland. The Jim Daly Band were regulars at the Cork Jazz Festival. The remainder of the '90s saw Mike return to soul music with a memorable live Dust Hagan Band CD. 

The move to Perth involved a temporary hiatus in Mike's playing career as his 'day job' took precedence. However, his drumming passion was soon reignited with several stints in Country Bands playing the Boot Skootin’ clubs around Perth.

Mike considers his influences to be too many to mention, but the standouts are Buddy Rich (meeting Buddy in NewYork 1974 was unforgettable), Mitch Mitchell, Ian Paice, Kenny Clare and Bobby Elliot.

Mike has appeared with Van Morrison and Georgie Fame, on TV shows with Chris De Burg and the Jim Daly Blues Band, toured Ireland with Carey Bell (harp player with Muddy Waters) and in concert backings for jazz trombonist George Chisholm, English jazz clarinetist Monty Sunshine and blues great ‘Little Willy Littlefield’.

Right now, Mike enjoys playing with like-minded muso’s whose musical influences complement his own eclectic career.

Saturday, 05 August 2017 11:07

Paul Fitton (Guitars)

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Paul began learning guitar at age 11 in the UK. Six months later (disliking his guitar teacher and what he was trying to teach) he realised he had a good ‘ear’ and decided he could learn more on his own by listening to the music he really liked.

Paul joined his first band at 12 with his best friend from primary school, Alan Forman (drums), and began gigging in public not long after turning 13. The band played top 40 covers of the time and whatever ‘rock’ stuff they could sneak in relatively unnoticed in front of the UK ‘clubland’ punters. Paul continued with that for seven years before leaving for Australia at 21.

During that time Paul indulged in a few side-ventures including a ‘heavy-rock’ band formed with some guys from High School (and later with Alan Forman again) with the curious/humorous, bad-taste name “Bowleg and the Ricketts”.

"It was a very cool band with sax/flute player Jon Taylor – and we just got to play stuff we liked – loudly," remembered Paul

In those early years, he found a bunch of influential players from whom he 'stole' musical & sonic ideas, licks, etc. The obvious: Clapton, Page & Beck, David Gilmour, Rory Gallagher, Pete Townsend, Joe Walsh, Frank Zappa, Freddie, Albert and BB King, Buddy Guy, Alvin Lee, Ritchie Blackmore and Stevie Ray Vaughan were the most important ones, but there were many others too numerous to mention. Paul also amassed musical influences from a spectrum of bands/genres between folk, blues, various ‘rock’ styles, funk, jazz and avante garde.

He joined his first Perth band in 1979 and continued along those lines with various outfits doing similar venues (and corporate work), gradually improving the quality of the material and the bands/people he played with for 12 or more years. It was during this period that he first met his long-time “BFF”, confidante and amazing vocalist Rose Carleo; in a little country band they’d both prefer to forget.

In the early '90s Paul joined “Cool Change” – his first ‘rock’ band with two female vocalists and three-piece backing including great friend Mark Charman. This was immediately followed by five to six years with The Mersey Allstars – a British '60s comedy-styled ‘showband’ – the most successful band he'd been in to date.

The new millennium brought new challenges with a failed attempt to re-create the ‘Merseys’ and yet another tavern/corporate band ‘Rewind’ with old friend Dave Woodhall, Paul Watson, Debbie Gamble and Debbie’s replacement – Rose Carleo, after which followed a hiatus of five years before joining Too Easy (a three-piece rock outfit) for a short time and most recently On The Level with Dave Gillam, Bill Blissett, Jim Awram and Ian ‘Bones’ Ironside, with whom Paul finally got to play some good, rocking blues AND got paid for doing it.

Throughout Paul's varied career, he never lost his love for the blues and its many and varied formats. Now – with BB & Co - he's finally getting to do what he loves in a form and with a bunch of guys with whom he just loves to perform.

"I’d have to say this is the best band I’ve ever been in," said Paul "and we hope we get the satisfaction and support to make it last a long, long time."

Saturday, 22 July 2017 13:17

Bill Blissett (Keyboards & Vocals)

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Originally from London UK, Bill started playing bass in the 1960s with a local band, then switched to keyboards and joined then-popular London band “Blues by Five”. Signing with Decca records they released a version of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom Boom” and several other songs which all entered the British Charts. They toured the UK and overseas with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, The Hollies, Spencer Davis & Steve Winwood, and many more.

In the late 60s Bill came to Australia and settled in Melbourne. He joined a well-known local band there called Compact who had a few local hits and appeared on TV music shows frequently.

Then he came to Perth and joined the “Troupadores” a well-loved showband throughout Australia. They toured tirelessly and performed a number of times in Singapore, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia.

After the demise of the ‘Troups’, Bill went to work in the record industry for 10 years first for Festival Records then for CBS Records in Brisbane. On his return to Perth he got back into playing again - first with a reformed “Troupadores”, then “Powershift” featuring Michael Vdelli, Ric Whittle and Gerard Maunick with whom he recorded a live CD which sold very well in Perth.

Jeff St. John was Bill’s next project. Jeff came to live in Perth and formed a new band called The Embers. They released an album which took off and they toured Germany. Unfortunately, Jeff’s health deteriorated and he was forced to retire from full-time live performing.

Bill then went on to playing with many local (mostly blues-based) bands in Perth, toured to Singapore with Dave Hole and played several tours with Eugene Hideaway Bridges.

Bill joined a local blues boogie band ‘On the level’ with Dave Gillam and recorded 3 CDs. He is constantly in demand as a keyboard player/vocalist for pick=up bands and special events. Now he has his own band and is looking forward to performing a wide range of favourite blues, gospel and blues-rock music.


  • Ray Charles
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Delbert McClinton
  • Soul and (‘real/old’) R&B music