I've been thinking for quite a while about all the influence and effect Joy Division and the sound of Factory Records have had on me for over 30 years now. A couple of days ago I even had my arm tattooed with the pulsar drawing taken from the Unknown Pleasures album, I wanted to have it carved into my flesh and blood and remain there as Ian's words and music do… I've been in the dark scene for over three decades now and have seen and heard many things. I think this typical Manchester Post Punk sound remains my deepest influence and attachment in terms of music so far. I've seen many gigs, been to many places, clubs and festivals all over many countries, always in quest of this very special feeling the Factory Record bands have made me known. I've met many bands and artists, some encounters were just nice or interesting, some people became friends, some were disappointing, some I already forgot because they didn t deserve to be remembered. 
Some weeks ago while I was on vacation on the other side of the world I read the very sad news that Annik Honore had suddenly passed away at the age of only 56. I was really shocked by this news. Annik certainly belongs to the few brief encounters I have made and which are still in my mind because what she represented and what she did in terms of music and event organising always ment a lot to me, and she was a lovely lady, very sensible, tall and elegant with a true and touching smile upon her face. I had never thought I would come accross her one day, why would I ? 
I had heard about Annik because of her lovestory with Ian Curtis and her work and involvement with Factory Benelux, the From Brussels with Love compilation still plays at home from time to time... Bands like The Wake, Crispy Ambulance, The Names, Section 25 and many others are a true reference to me and I knew she had done a lot for bands such as Front 242, Isolation Ward and many others in Belgium in terms of concert organisation etc… So I was familiar with her name and her face that I had seen in some Joy Division documentary on TV. Then there was also all this buzz when the movie Control came out and everyone was talking about the story of Ian and Annik. 
I had myself been to Manchester and on pilgrimage to Ian s house and grave in Macclesfield, read so many books about the band and always had some Joy Division recording at hand here and there and actually still do… In 2007 I think some guys in Brussels had the brilliant idea to organise a so called Factory Night in the legendary Brussel based Plan K which is located Rue de Manchester, kind of funny coincidence… They organised two Factory Night events, I unfortunately missed the first one but attended the second and final one in 2009 which hosted several of my favourite bands… It was a big surprise for me to get a chance to finally see bands that I thought would never play again ever. This very special event was a success, several very good and unique gigs, a beautiful photo exhibition with photographer Kevin Cummings and a superb and unique venue, the Plan K. I think many famous and less famous people were there that night, many familiar faces… It was also the very last time that Section 25 would play including all original band members, a couple of weeks later, singer Larry would saddly pass away… I still remember chating with the band outside the venue and having a smoke with them, you never know how life turns sometimes and who you will see again or not… Concerning Annik I remember finding myself dancing just next to hear when I suddenly realised who she was. I first did not dare to talk to her but on that night we both enjoyed the same gigs, The Names, The Wake, A Certain Ratio and Section 25, all in a very special athmosphere like if we had been transported back into the early eighties, there was something very authentic to that night. After the gigs some deejays were spinning a lot of Factory classics and Annik was still there, in her own world, enjoying the music, dancing sometimes with her eyes closed and this such sweet smile on her face. At one point there was of course also some Joy Division to be heard, I can t remember which track exactly, probably Love will tear us appart… Annik was still dancing with closed eyes and was really into the music. I noticed that tears were running down her face but she did not stop, she kept on moving like in some spiritual communion with the song, at least that was my interpretation and feeling at that moment. I still see her in front of my eyes, I remember saying to myself, how beautiful she was and how touching it was to notice and witness all of this on my own. I think I thought that this was a true and powerful vision of eternal love. Just when I was going to leave the venue it was her that came over to me and some of my friends. She spontaneously asked us why we were leaving, that the night was not over and that there was still a lot more to come… I confessed her that I knew who she was and that she meant a lot to me. She was touched by my confession and laughed. I think I asked her if we could make a picture together but she wasn t very comfortable with this idea. She said to me that she preferred me to keep a picture of her in my mind and to remember her as just a nice and simple girl. I perfectly remember this conversation and still have her smilling face on my mind… I went off and returned back home, I knew that she was going out a lot in Brussels, attended many gigs and knew a lot of people there so I thought that one day or another we would bump into each other again… 
Time passed and then I suddenly heard about Trisomie 21's very final tour. I decided that for this occasion I would return to see them play in Brussels and nowhere else. That gig was again something very special because it was a kind of farewell. Trisomie played of course most of their best songs on that night and you could see at the audience that a lot of very old fans were there. Suddenly while I was queing up at the bar to get some drink I heard someone behind my back greating me. I turned around and saw Annik again, how could she have remembered me, we only met once and for quite a short time so I was a bit surprised that she had recognised me and was now talking to me again. I think I bought her a drink and had a chat with her about this and that. I then left her and went back to the front of the stage because I didn't want to miss any of T21's songs on that night… Some time later I went back to the bar and noticed her sitting alone on a table in a corner of the room. The gig was almost over, the band was just getting back to the stage for an encore playing either La Fete Triste or Il se Noie, two of my very favourite tracks so I quickly went over to her and asked her if she didn t want to come with me to the front to hear the final live songs. She declined the invitation politely so I said something like see you later and went back to the gig… She waved at me with her beautiful and discrete smile and I drowned myself into Il se Noie… It would be the last time I saw Annik and as I write those lines I still have the impression that we will meet again sooner or later here or there, where there is some sweet music in the air…

© Chroma Carbon