Last night Vi Subversa co-founder of the groundbreaking British anarcho-punk band, Poison Girls, passed away peacefully following a short illness according to her son, Pete Fender:

“It is with deep sorrow that I have to announce the mourning of my wonderful mum Frances Sokolov, known to many as Vi Subversa, who has passed away peacefully following a short illness. We know that her death will come as a shock. Vi had recently celebrated her 80th birthday and only a few short weeks ago gave what was to be her final performance.

Vi led an extraordinary life in a variety of fields, but was no doubt best known as the lead singer, lyricist and rhythm guitarist in Poison Girls. She was a key figure to a lot of people and we know that there will be a great many who would wish to pay tribute to her music and words, as well as to her remarkable achievements in life. We know too that she would want this to happen.” 

Born Frances Sokolov on June 20th, 1935 in London England, Subversa was much more than a musician—she was a mother, an anarchist, a pioneer and someone who broke a lot of norms to pave the way for future music and political movements. As a 40 year-old mother of two during the band’s inception in 1976, Subversa wrote songs explored gender and sexuality, and challenged convention.

From Alex Yusimov who recently reissued Poison Girls’- Hex 12″ on Water Wing Records:

“One of the more inspiring projects I’ve ever been a part of was reissuing a few records from Poison Girls last year. The music was one thing, but getting to know the history and the relentless drive of Vi Subversa. She became part of the Soho anarchist scene of the 50s, took part in the original CND march to Aldermaston, then a counter culture drop out of the 60s. In her 40’s already a mother of two, Vi started one of the most influential feminist anarcho punk bands of all time. Recently celebrating her 80’s birthday, Vi proved that you can still retain passion for your beliefs and your art at any age.

With deepest condolences for her friends and family,
RIP VI SUBVERSA June 20th 1935 – February 19th 2016″

Rest In Power Vi Subversa!

Poison Girls, “Riot in My Mind”

Poison Girls: Another Hero, Live 1980