A LARGS musician has told how she secured a seat on the final flight out of America as the country was gripped by coronavirus.

Hayley Keenan, who runs Largs Folk Nights, escaped across the pond on the last plane from Nashville with her band Talisk as President Donald Trump shut the borders.

The band were only a few gigs into a 20 date tour of the US when the pandemic struck and a global travel ban was imposed.

Hayley said: “When we left Scotland the coronavirus situation hadn't really hit the UK or US and we had invested a lot money but we quickly realised things were about to develop rapidly after a short time there."

Hayley said: “We played a joint gig in Michigan with Irish band We Banjo 3 and they had made the decision to stop there because coronavirus was becoming more prominent.

“But we were at the very start so we made the decision to stay because no venues had cancelled on us.

“Our agent then messaged us saying that a few of the gigs had started to cancel and it quickly developed into a domino effect."

The folk band, consisting of Hayley, Mohsen Amini and Graeme Armstrong, played Minneapolis, Wisconsin and Michigan before heading to Nashville.

Hayley said: “Flights and hotels had been booked already, so we made the decision to continue.

“We spent a day in the town itself, but we were hugely out of money by this point because we’re all self-employed musicians.

“We were hyped to go over for a month and were booked to play at Tartan Week in New York, so we were devastated when it started to fall apart."

A day after they arrived at the home of country music, President Trump announced that travel between the US and UK would be banned in two days time, leaving the trio scrambling to find a way home.

Hayley added: “It was basically a race against time after that, we were manically looking for flights.

“On the day we were leaving, the mayor of Nashville closed all the bars and restaurants, so we weren’t sure if airports were the same.

“We all have families that were phoning us and they were helping us look for flights, everyone was trying to get through to British Airways.

“We ended up getting the very last flight from Nashville back to the UK, I remember on the plane everyone was panicked and so worried. It was horrible."

The band missed out on playing Nashville, New York and Portland, but Hayley says they were just relieved to make it home.

She said: “We were just so glad to get back, but at the same time we were devastated not to be on the tour across America.

“If we were stuck in America, the cost would have been frightening. Being so far away from home when this was unfolding was very unsettling."

With their tour across America ruined the band was also lost out on big gigs in the UK and Europe.

Hayley said: “We were meant to be playing at Glastonbury and loads of other festivals. There are still some that are in the diary but they’re probably not going to happen.

“Individually and as a band we’ve been doing lots of stuff online to keep our profiles up and to share music with our fans.

“For us as a band and a business, people can support by buying merchandise and albums, that’s all we can do at the moment.”

With restrictions set to continue for several months following the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the singer is worried about the Scottish arts and music scene.

She said: “I’m not 100 per cent sure how the arts and music scene is going to survive.

“It’s just a waiting game at this point.”

For more information about the band, visit their website at www.talisk.co.uk