A hugely important figure in the music and counter-cultural movement often called Anarcho-Punk, but so much more besides. An inspirational woman. Has left us… but leaves behind a legacy and extended family to whom she was a spiritual mother-figure.   (Below is how her son, Pete Fender broke the news on Facebook)

Vi Subversa
20th June 1935 – 19th February 2016

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.
We are holding a private funeral for her close friends and family, and naturally there will be a public event to celebrate her life and work later in the year. We, her family, ask that our need for privacy be respected during this very difficult time.
We are confident that Vi would not wish her friends and fans to overindulge in sadness. We all feel that her life was complete and should be celebrated. She made it to the milestone, and her time had come. Flesh and blood is what we are.
PF x


  1. my condolences, this is so sad- your loss is our loss. I found Poison Girls very influential in my youth. I thank Vi for the inspiration that she gave me and all the enjoyable music that I still play to this day. Her memory will live with us.

  2. Thank you to the original uploaders of the two youtube videos featured above. Both of which are priceless and inspirational and capture the spirit of Vi beautifully. Thanks Nogsi Si and sandrifting. x

  3. How sad, and a little bizarre too, just two night ago I was searching online to see if I could find out the date the Poison Girls played in Bolton. I think it was about 83/84, it was the first punk band I ever saw live.

  4. I speak for everyone that ever met this woman a big BIG influence on my life and I will miss her – long may her talents be passed on to new generations of people who see the truth told unapologetically as only Vi could. RIP Vi

  5. I loved your Mum and I’ve written a tribute to her on my blog. We were so hoping to include her in our documentary; she was brave and brilliant and completely inspirational, and the world was a better place for having her in it x

  6. As a child in the late 1950s I remember your mum very well, she used to visit our house in Fulham, South London to attend Colin Ward’s monthly anarchist meetings. Back then she was with her then “husband”, Philip Sansom.

    I also remember her being a very talented potter and operated from a unit off the Fulham Road, a stone’s throw from Chelsea football ground.

    She was certainly a “character” the like of which won’t come our way again.

    Condolences in your loss.

    Alan Balfour (now of Southampton).


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