At the handle and the bellows she smells of stale beer and sweat. Not very chic for a black beauty from Tyrol, but owner Tren van Enckevort does not go for dignified. She’s a puller, that sounds better than an accordion. He has been playing her for years at concerts by Rowwen Heze where ‘toss beer’ is for sale in party tents.
Although Van Enckevort believes that loyal fans try to spare the instruments, he once made a travel case for his Lanzinger Alpe II with three fans at the bottom. You can plug it into the cigarette lighter of the tour bus, so she was blown dry for the next party.
He remembers exactly the day it started: August 5, 1978, in the Eifel. He was eight. There was a big party in the hotel where they were on vacation. One man entertained everyone. The whole village sang and danced into the night to the tones of the drawstring bag. “The next morning that thing was still in the restaurant. I took him to my room to try some.” He knew the keys of the right hand from the piano and that left hand with bass buttons also worked.
Once at home in Sevenum he was given a beginner’s model worth 25 guilders. His peers didn’t think it was very hip. One thing for fairground customers. But he did it differently. He was a savage, his repairman said after Van Enckevort had driven over the drawstring bag with a car when he was sixteen. And that was exactly what Rowwen Heze was looking for, the band from two villages away. In 1992 they played Pinkpop. Suddenly the drawstring bag became a rock instrument.
Not only does the Lanzinger smell, she is damaged. There is duct tape on all corners, the screws fall out due to the many opening and closing. He strengthened her inwardly. A technician taped a desk lamp on-off switch to it. He never uses.
Van Enckevort always goes on tour with a toolbox full of spare blocks. Pieces of wood with carefully filed iron tongues on them, determine the sound. A drawstring bag is by definition a bit fake, but from her he knows exactly how much air to push through her. She pokes through the band sound so he can play his high frills. His ‘sparrows on the roof’.
Still, he wanted to replace her. The AvroTros program The new Stradivarius offered him the opportunity in 2017 to build a new drawstring bag with his own hands. His dream. He went to the Italian village where they traditionally make the parts, filed the tongues himself, cut out the logo. The ‘Tren’ is now virtually unemployed in the studio at home. On the new Rowwen Heze album start at the bottom just sounds the Lanzinger again.
She folds right around his belly. She is shaped after his hands and sound. She bought a twin sister, exactly the same model, new together. But even that one loses, it is only there if Van Enckevort gets beer on him. Then a crew member brings the stand-in sister, and a towel. As soon as she is cleaned after one song, he puts his Tyrolean girlfriend back on his stomach and plays his birds.