Poison Girls - Chats Palace - 10 August 1984

TO MARK THE fifth anniversary of the death of Vi Subversa, a video of a live performance by Poison Girls in London has been released on YouTube by Vi’s son Pete Fender.

Recorded at a gig at Chats Palace on 10 August 1984, the hour-long video, features the then line-up of Vi Subversa (vocals and guitar), Richard Famous (guitar and vocals), Lance d’Boyle (drums), Cynth Ethics (keyboards) and Martin Heath (bass).

Pete Fender notes that the video shows Poison Girls “in their prime, and on the cusp of a major transition”:

Poison Girls are one of those bands whose fans always endured a lack of live footage. Apart from a few fleeting images in the occasional punk documentary there was never the sort of interest that led to full concerts being recorded for posterity in the way that major bands enjoyed. Not in 1984. Well, almost never.

To mark the five years since Vi Subversa passed away, we are delighted to share with you this recently unearthed, extremely rare footage of Poison Girls performing live.

This is Poison Girls in their prime, and on the cusp of a major transition. With bassist Martin Heath and original drummer Lance d’Boyle both about to depart and new recruits Agent Orange and Max Vol shortly to replace them, this performance, recorded live at Chats Palace in Hackney, East London – a regular haunt on home ground for the band and it’s many musical and theatrical off-shoots – took place on Friday, 10th August 1984.

Drawing material from each of the albums issued by the band over the preceding five years, filmed by the same team that made the Real Woman single video, this recently unearthed video captures the band at a crucial moment and in excellent sound and picture quality. The footage here, a live two-camera shoot, is presented raw and uncut. Uploaded to mark the fifth anniversary of Vi’s passing on 19th February 2016, finally a fitting visual documentation of this legendary band to leave for posterity. So fill your boots, by all means fuck the system if you like, and don’t forget to sing along!

The complete set list is:

  • Fear Of Freedom
  • Where’s The Pleasure?
  • Too Close
  • Old Tart’s Song
  • (I’m Not A) Real Woman
  • Rio Disco Stink
  • Cry No More
  • Are You Happy Now?
  • Too Proud
  • Rockface
  • My Perfect Crime
  • White Cream Dream
  • State Control

Fender notes the importance of giving due credit to those responsible for the recording and production, and of recognizing the material copyright:

We are indebted to the women of Wildtrax (Caz Sheldon, Clare Glassman, Anne Robinson, Jenya Iljon) for the video production and to Women In Sync for facilitating the sound recording. Live sound by Tom Barwood and Gary Horsman.

Material Copyright is owned by Poison Girls / Xntrix Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

Back in 2016, this site published a tribute to Vi Subversa and the work of Poison Girls.