Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 14th 2015 Contents A10
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6.1000 6.2850 6.4500
4.3880 4.6189 4.9423
9.0114 9.4857 10.1671
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2.1190 2.3033 2.4899
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My name is Stanley Jennings and
I am a parrandero. But when I m
onstage, my sobriquet is Albertos
Alvarales Consuelo. Stanley Jennings
is mellow. But Albertos is cocky.
I m born and raised in the West
my whole life. My family is from
Woodbrook. I live in Santa Cruz.
When I was 17, I went Santa Cruz
with a friend and said: "I m going to
buy my home in this place!" And
that s what I did.
"Jennings" is not a Panyol name
but my grandfather, Daniel Noriega,
is originally from Venezuela. He was
actually the head judge in the first
parang competition ever held in
Trinidad and Tobago. So I come from
genuine parang stock.
I honestly didn t appreciate parang
until I met the Thomas family from
Diego Martin. I was playing in a rock
band called Burn. Aaron Thomas and
I worked in the bank together and,
one Christmas, Aaron brought his
cuatro and was strumming and we
went around the bank, parang-ing A
Piece of Pork.
Aaron had two younger brothers,
Aldon and Avelino, and this band
Los Hombres Sexuales was formed.
Burn was a five-member rock band
and I wanted a five-member parang
band. We started practising in Burn s
band room. Stuart Franco booked
our first Christmas gig in 2007.
The Hombres Sexuales are---
Anthony Maillard, John Hussain on
guitar, Jesse Fournillier on maracas
and Aldon, Avelino and Aaron
Thomas. Without Aaron, there
would be no band. This year, Pastor
Kelvin Thomas, the father of Aldon,
Avelino and Aaron, passed away. We
dedicate our performances to him and
feel his vibe every time.
We were chosen as the only parang
group to play for the Commonwealth
Heads of Government Conference. I
asked them if they were drinking,
because we re a novelty act. I told
them there were genuine parang
groups, such as Lara Brothers, that
could represent the art form (properly)
but they wanted us because we
brought something different.
We do covers of rock and other
songs (including) a parang version
of my favourite song, Sounds of
Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. We
give Don t Stop Believing by Journey
and David Rudder s Bahia Girl the
parang treatment. We do the Det
commercial in parang. Because I real
Costaatt booked us (when), I used
to walk with slips of paper because
I couldn t remember the song lyrics.
We were actually singing, in Spanish,
over-and-over, to make the song last
longer, "No tengo dinero/ Quiero un
gato/ Quiero una mujer con un gato,"
literally, "I have no money/ I want a
cat/ I want a woman with a cat." We
didn t know there were a lot of
Venezuelan students in the audience.
They never rehired us.
I knew La Pascualidad, which
every child learns in school, appar-
ently, and Alegria by Daisy Voisin
and liked that song. Otherwise, I did-
n t have an affinity for parang at all.
When I saw the passion that they
expressed in the music, I figured, I
want to respect the tradition---we
doing that!---but I want to revolu-
tionise the approach. So I m chan-
Scott Weilland in parang. I wanted
to call the band "The Sexy Men" in
Spanish. I remembered "los hombres"
from school but I wasn t sure of the
Spanish word for "sexy." So I just said,
Los Hombres Sexuales. Then I found
out that really meant the Sexual Men.
Ironically, I did Spanish at A-level.
One night, the DJ, trying to wild
the band, introduced us as Los
Homosexuales. Albertos went up
there and said: "You figure it s your
father up here, but it s Los Hombres
We did seven gigs weekend before
last. We re making more money from
parang than I was from rock. The
most gigs we ve played in a day is
ten---but we weren t having fun.
Money s not worth that. So the most
gigs we ll do in one day now is three.
TRINI TO D BONE
As Told to BC Pires
Up to this year, I never missed a day at work
at the bank; I m real regimented about that.
The more gigs we do, I want people to recognise
even more that I m on time for work. I get to the
bank 5.30 some mornings.
A Trini is a relaxed individual who doesn t
realise how simple things in life benefits him.
They have people in Trinidad who probably ent
seen the beach for this year.
Trinidad and Tobago is a haven of peace and
love that I appreciate very much.
Read a longer version of this feature at
Parang in the 21st century
Stanley Jennings...parrandero extraordinaire.
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