IF you had to name ten seminal albums from the 1980s, the chances are you’d pick Paul Simon’s Graceland as one.

The American songwriter worked with South African musicians to create something unique: his ambiguous, quirky lyrics were matched by pumping rhythms and the gorgeous vocals of Lady Smith Black Mambazo.

Gary Stewart, a Scotsman now residing in Yorkshire, and drummer with Hope And Social, has devised a project that affectionately runs through Simon’s album.

Originally it was a one-off for somebody's party, but the show has taken flight. For this hot and raucous show at The Crescent (fast becoming York’s best small venue, with a diverse programme and friendly atmosphere), Stewart performed Simon's album with panache and energy.

Borrowing several Hope And Social musicians, and adding several more, Stewart has created a stunning band - all in African dress - whose infectious smiles and body language resonated with the 200-strong audience.

I’m not sure how the guitar players got those eccentric, fast African licks down, but they did. The famous bass break in You Can Call Me Al was note perfect. The crowd swayed, danced and yelled for more.

After Graceland, there was a swift raid on Simon’s catalogue. The Obvious Child, from Rhythm Of The Saints, with backing singer Kirsty Rogers playing trumpet with one hand and hitting a drum with another, didn’t quite match the precision of the more rehearsed material, but it came close.

Claiming the stage for himself, Stewart played some numbers alone, grabbing the audience with the precision of his playing and sweet, high voice. We got The Sound Of Silence, played with gravity and love, before the band returned for Mrs Robinson.

It’s timeless stuff, and as Simon, now 76, wanders off into the sunset -his recent tour was his last - it’s great to see his work lovingly held by a younger generation. Tribute acts can be cynical; this was anything but.