Don’t miss Zenana perform their first hometown gig since 1988

Anita, Penny and Ruth. Image: Zenana 2023
Anita, Penny and Ruth. Image: Zenana 2023

A Bedford band that played their last gig in 1988 will be making a triumphant hometown return on Friday (14 June) after their single ‘Witches’ was given a new lease of life by a club DJ.

Zenana’s gig on Friday at the Cellar Bar on Bedford High Street will be the all-female band’s first performance in Bedford for 36 years.

Read: New record deal and “overnight success” 38 years after 80s girl band split

It has been a crazy few months for the band and, in March, Zenana founder, Anita Gabrielle-Tedder, undertook 24 interviews in 10 days, made the national news in The Times and the i newspaper and appeared on TV programmes in places as far away as Chicago and Asia, as well as on BBC World News with Kiernan Abbott, the young DJ who found their original single back in May 2022.

Zenana’s second wind coincided with band-member Ruth’s long-awaited heart operation, which went ahead on 20 May and has given her a new lease of life.

“I am just so pleased my op went well,” said Ruth.

“I’m alive with more energy to do what I love, which is singing with my old band mates and bringing Zenana to life again. None of us knows what the future holds, and we are just enjoying this unbelievable ride.”

The band said they are absolutely delighted to be invited to play their first hometown gig in three decades by Cellar Bar owners, Cathy and Marcus Wright.

“We can’t wait to make our return at their super venue which does so much to support live music in the town,” said manager, Steph.

“There’s no doubt that the girls are singing better now than they were in the 80s. Zenana’s songs are ageless and the lyrics are still relevant today. It will be great to see them play in Bedford once again– and I can’t believe I’m still managing  them.”

Zenana in 1986 - Anita, Penny and Ruth. Image: Steph Daniels
Zenana in 1986 – Anita, Penny and Ruth. Image: Steph Daniels

Band member Penny said that being reunited with the others has been a massive boost to her mental health.

“I feel rejuvenated and as though I am helping make older women visible. Being accepted and welcomed by a new and young audience reinforces my view that Zenana were before our time. It seems that our time may be now.”

You can also catch them playing at Bedfringe on Sunday 28 July on the Garden Stage at the Quarry Theatre.

Now in her 70th year, Anita told the Bedford Independent: “I could never have imagined the level of interest in our music and our story and am utterly thrilled to be performing once again with my friends, Ruth and Penny.

“I am so very proud of us all.”

You can hear Zanana’s music here and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

The Rush Hour release of the extended ‘Witches’ is scheduled for Friday 13 September.