Howe Gelb – the man who, with his multiple cohorts, is Giant Sand – is in fighting fettle. The show is as ramshackle as the records (all of which are being reissued on Fire) and, for a man who’s been forging his idiosyncratic path since the early 80s, Gelb still knows how to fuddle the mind. Tonight, we get lounge-jazz, (very) alt.country, scorching rock, blues hollers, and instant medleys, where even some of the band don’t know what’s going to happen next. Ostensibly a gig to publicise the release of Blurry Blue Mountain, along with the reissue of Giant Sand’s debut, Ballad Of A Thin Line Man, Howe proceeded to assure us that he was going to play the whole thing in order. The guy surely has a low boredom threshold, as he stuck to it for four wonderful songs, of which the highpoint was the husky, dusky country-jazz of Chunk Of Coal. After this, anything went, with Gelb leaping between acoustic, electric and piano with gleeful abandon, a rollicking version of Shiver, and a beautiful closing male/female duet on Love A Loser. Gelb’s magician’s moustache was left quivering with the joy of again confounding all expectations in a very good way.