Pub landlady from The Voice entertains Sheffield street with doorstep gigs during coronavirus lockdown

A pub landlady has been entertaining neighbours on her Sheffield street with a series of gigs from the doorstep of her closed premises.

By Robert Cumber
Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 1:57 pm

Jade Billard, who runs The New Anglers pub in Handsworth with her husband Richard, has always been a keen singer and made it through to the televised Battle Round of The Voice in 2015.

Having been forced to close their doors due to the coronavirus lockdown, she is trying to lift the spirits of her former customers and other neighbours by belting out hits from the entrance to the pub.

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Jade Billard is the landlady of The New Anglers pub in Handsworth, Sheffield

“It’s just nice to be able to spread a bit of happiness. It’s a rubbish situation for people at the moment and we’re trying to make the best of it,” said the 33-year-old, who has a three-year-old son and a stepson, aged 11.

“Singing a few songs to lighten people’s mood, rather than pulling pints, is the least I can do. We just want people to stay inside to save lives and help the NHS.”

Jade, who used to work as a receptionist in a crisp factory and perform as a Beyonce tribute act, under her maiden name Jade Hewitt, told how the idea came about when she performed an impromptu gig in the pub lounge on her birthday last week.

It proved a hit on Facebook and requests began pouring in so she performed further gigs on the Saturday and Monday, this time singing from the entrance to the pub so more people could hear and also streaming it via the S13 Sheffield local events and neighbourhood watch Facebook group.

Jade, who flew out to Barbados for a family holiday last month only to be told upon landing that their cruise had been cancelled due to coronavirus and having to spend nine days travelling back by boat, plans to make it a weekly event.

“I’m going to try to do an hour-long set every Sunday afternoon to break up the boredom a bit,” she said.

“We’re really looking forward to re-opening the pub once all this is over because sometimes you grumble about the job but we really miss seeing all our regulars.”