“There are no leaders fit to rule
We’re all half saint, half bloody fool”
Vi Subversa, who has died on 19 February 2016, aged 80, after a short illness, will always be remembered as one of the the most distinctive figures in the first wave of British anarchist punk. Poison Girls, the band that she fronted, wrote with, recorded with and performed with, were as important a catalyst in the formation of the subculture that became known as ‘anarcho-punk’ as were Crass. The fact that these two bands emerged independently, worked closely together and then evolved in sharply different directions is the reflection of many different influences, but the clarity of vision which Subversa was able to articulate so effectively played a key role in presenting the shifting subversive perspectives of Poison Girls.
Born Frances Sokolov in 1935, she had enjoyed a successful career and brought up two…
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