PONTYPOOL singer Russell Jones returned to the stage for the first time in more than a year to support local arts venues.

The former X-Factor contestant and Only Boy Aloud singer took to the stage in Abergavenny to film an Easter-themed music video for Abergavenny Arts Festival.

The not-for-profit organisation wanted to promote support for the arts ahead of the industry’s reopening, with a number of virtual events until normality returns.

Mr Jones joined the project, filmed at Melville Centre for the Arts, to perform the Easter-themed song, In her Easter Bonnet by Irving Berlin from the 1948 film Easter Parade in his swing/jazz style.

“It was nice to feel the theatre was back open again – even if it was just to the four of us,” Mr Jones said. “Things are starting to get back to normality, and they are starting to plan more shows.

“When we were at the theatre, my mum wasn’t even allowed to come in. There were only four of us – including me, the model, and the director – it was quite weird.

“It was nice to hear and see live music again, and I hope we will see more live entertainment in the next few months.

“I feel like it’s a step forward in to the future now. We are ready to move on from this.

“Hopefully people will see the video and will want to go out and see live artists and come together more.”

“We were also blessed with beautiful warm and sunny Spring weather on the day which gave us all renewed hope that we are slowly getting back to normal,” said festival committee member, Vivienne Sharman-Lewis – who spearheaded the project.