Between 1990 and 1993 Oakley quickly became a very active figure in a number of Hamilton's prominent "alternative" bands of the day. He was initially a member of Zangiacomo's Eastern Tour (1990-1991), Box of Smarties (1991), and Clambone (1991).
In very late 1991 Paul Oakley replaced guitarist Stan Jagger in Book of Martyrs, but rather than playing guitar became one of two bassists in the band. He continued to play with them on and off until their final gig in 1993. Roughly around the same time (late '91/early '92) he also replaced The Haunting's bassist Maria 'Ree' Stead, before they too broke up.
From this time with Paul Oakley on bass, The Haunting's Wheels (guitar) and drummer Paul Tregilgas (who had also played with Oakley in Zangiacomo's Eastern Tour) transformed the band into Hapukalypse Now with the addition of the Martyrs' Jonathan Armstrong on vocals, and later, guitarist Chris Paki replacing Wheels. As a founding member of Hapukalypse Now, Oakley also remained with the band until they broke up in about 1994, or thereabouts.
In 1992 the Pauls Oakley and Tregilgas became the rhythm section for Stan Jagger's other band King Biscuit alongside frontman Mark Kington and violinist Stephen Judd, rounding out the blues/folk outfit's sound. Oakley remained with King Biscuit until their final CD release in 1995, playing on all but their very first cassette.
In November of 1995 Paul Oakley - also a keen sportsman - was the instigator of the inaugural AGM for the Hamilton Musicians United Cricket Team. No actual cricket was played, as most who showed up were recovering from a Guy Fawkes party the night before, while others had not realised that he was serious and had just turned up to drink and swap rock'n'roll stories. The team, however, does in fact play cricket, and has continued to do so with members of Hamilton bands too numerous to mention here.
In 1996 he did another stand-in job as the live bassist for The Andes shortly before they too broke up.
More importantly in '96, however, Oakley (as he was now known, in order to differentiate between the inseparable Pauls), Paul Tregilgas and Stan Jagger formed the original line-up of Trucker with The Nerve's frontman Jamie Stone. Their first gig was at the Battle of the Bands 1996. Although they did not place in their heat, they won the Wild Card and ended up coming second overall in the competition, Trucking on to bigger and better things between '96 and 2001. Oakley pulled in for a pit-stop in about '98 where he was overtaken by a little Datsun called Dolf de Borst.
In 1995 Johnny Fist was also born, which soon became another Oakley/Tregilgas/Jagger band, with a different frontman. He may have also played in various incarnations of Rumpus Room and/or Mobile Stud Unit during the latter part of the '90s.
In the year 2000 he went to the UK where he spent four years. In 2004 he came back and played in the various line-ups of Trucker that reunited for the Wasted In Heaven EP release shows. He also formed POP Squad with Greg Page and Chris Paki who he has played with from 2004, played as the live bassist for the Tsunami Band's reformation in 2005, and between 2005 and 2006 has played alongside Stan Jagger and Paul Tregilgas again in Disjecta Membra.
Bands & Projects
- Zangiacomo's Eastern Tour (1990-1991)
- Box of Smarties
- Clambone (1991ish)
- Book of Martyrs (1991-1993)
- The Haunting (1991)
- Hapukalypse Now (1992-1994)
- Big Audio Laxative (1992-1994)
- King Biscuit (1992-1995)
- Hamilton Musicians United Cricket Team (1995-2006)
- Johnny Fist (1995-2006)
- The Andes (1996)
- Trucker (1996-1998)
- POP Squad (2004-2006)
- Tsunami Band (2005)
- Disjecta Membra (2005-2006)