Vi Subversa

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Vi Subversa
Background information
Born(1935-06-20)20 June 1935
London, England
Died19 February 2016(2016-02-19) (aged 80)
GenresAnarcho punk
Occupation(s)Musician, singer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1975–2016
LabelsCrass, XNTrix, Cooking Vinyl
Associated actsPoison Girls, Crass

Frances Sokolov (20 June 1935 – 19 February 2016),[1] better known by her stage name Vi Subversa, was the singer and guitarist of British anarcho-punk band Poison Girls.[2]

Subversa was born of East European Jewish parents. She spent two years in Israel in the late 1950s working in a ceramic pottery in Beersheba under Nehemia Azaz,[3] before returning to the United Kingdom. She had two children, Pete Fender (born Daniel Sansom, 1964) and Gem Stone (born Gemma Sansom, 1967), who both became members of the punk bands Fatal Microbes and Rubella Ballet.[4]

Subversa's first public performance was at The Body Show at Sussex University in 1975. In 1979, at 44 years old and a mother of two, she released her first single with the Poison Girls.[5] Her lyrics were written from a radical feminist punk perspective.[6]

She is featured in the documentary film She's a Punk Rocker.[7]

Subversa’s last musical venture was with the cabaret trio Vi Subversa’s Naughty Thoughts, which she formed with Michael Coates and Judy Bayley. She played her final live performance with Naughty Thoughts at Brighton’s Green Door Store on 5 December 2015, with The Cravats.[8]

Subversa's son Pete Fender announced on Facebook on 19 February 2016 that she had died, following a short illness.[1]


  1. ^ a b Ged Babey (20 February 2016). "Vi Subversa: 20th June 1935 – 19th February 2016: Flesh and blood is what we are". LouderThanWar. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  2. ^ Raha, Maria. Cinderella's big score: women of the punk and indie underground. Seal Press, 2005.
  3. ^ Grant, Brigit (25 July 1986). "Subversive? On the contrary". Jewish Chronicle. p. 15. Archived from the original on 12 January 2016.
  4. ^ Glasper, Ian (2006) The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980 - 1984, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 978-1-901447-70-5
  5. ^ Cope, Julian. Album of the Month #96. Head Heritage. 2007.
  6. ^ Leblanc, Lauraine. Pretty in Punk. Rutgers University Press. 1999.
  7. ^ "She's A Punk Rocker | Raindance Film Festival 2007". 7 October 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  8. ^ Salewicz, Chris (23 February 2016). "Vi Subversa: Inspirational elder stateswoman of punk who co-founded Poison Girls, denizens of its anarchist fringe". The Independent. Retrieved 23 February 2016.