There is nothing I like better than getting away from it all into the countryside, tramping with map and compass by my side – escaping the bustle and cacophony of city life. Actually there is one thing I like better and that’s a double gin and tonic with a twist of lime and plenty of ice – but sometimes even the desire for God’s own drink wanes. Especially when pubs insist on jukeboxes and piped music. So every now and then I like to get out of the city and into the sunshine.

At least I did until Belle and cunting Sebastian suggested it in Legal Man. (A song which many Belle and Sebastian fans say mark the point of their decline – not realising that the moment Belle and Sebastian fans existed the twee rot had well and truly set in). Instead now I grit my teeth and head out for brown field sites where I can do my orienteering. Certainly if the world all went to nought tomorrow at least I feel confident in my abilities to scout around the place – escaping those pockets of civilization where folk music has taken root again and people worship at the altar of Billy Bragg as some kind of god. (The only time I use the words “Billy Bragg” and “God” in the same sentence is saying “Doesn’t Billy Bragg make godawful records. I’m sure that’s why Kirsty Macoll had that altercation with that speedboat just to avoid being on England, Half English”).

At least I did, until some perky young chap I met whilst guiding myself around the Gasometers of Deptford accosted me with his own petty mnemonics. For some reason the initials NSEW were not sufficient enough for him to remember the directions the little pointer applied to. No this thoroughly deficient chap had to remind himself of the direction by reference to music. To bands in particular. Which is when I was reminded that yes – actually – there are a significant number of bands and songs which do indeed contain said compass directions. Orienteering thus spoilt for me I dashed my compass on the side of the young mans face and retired in a stupor to the nearest gin joint to exorcise the horrors of the geographical based songs and bands. What you will see over the next few days are the fruits of this gin-soaked labour: what I can only call the Compass Of Crime.