In this Newsworthy series, students reflect on living in the shadow of the coronavirus.

In 2014, a little-known French band named Totorro released their first album, Home Alone. In 2019, I ranked that album as my favourite release of the decade. In 2020, I planned a trip to Europe, which would include a stop at Portals Festival to see the band live. COVID-19 had other plans.

I made the difficult decision on Thursday, March 12 to cut my losses and cancel my upcoming holiday to Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting the globe. Luckily, all that was booked were return flights to London, tickets to three music festivals and accommodation at those festivals, but going through a less-than-reputable third-party instead of through Emirates directly, and with statements from the event managers saying they have no plans on cancelling or postponing, mean I likely won't get that two grand back. However, this isn't the aspect hitting me the hardest.

It's like a summer pool party hosted by Metallica.

Totorro's Home Alone, of all of the albums released in the 2010s that I listened to, was my favourite. It epitomises the word "fun", with high-energy guitar riffs, driving bass lines and outrageous drum fills. It's like a summer pool party hosted by Metallica. Their 2016 follow-up and most recent release, Come To Mexico, was terrific too. To see the band live has been at the top of my bucket-list for a while. They're quite elusive, having only played three shows since 2017, spending the majority of that gigging time in their home country of France. The band have also hinted at a hiatus. So, Portals, a festival dedicated to experimental rock, was the perfect opportunity for me, a lover of all types of mould-breaking rock music, to head over and finally see Totorro in person.

Thank you, COVID-19, for destroying that dream.

TOTORRO - Home Alone www.youtube.com