CRICKET might be an acquired taste - but for Divine Comedy man Neil Hannon the world of wickets and silly-mid on is inspirational.

He's half of the world's only cricket pop band, the Duckworth Lewis Method, who've just released their second album, Sticky Wickets, and will appear at Oran Mor on September 24.

"All other sports are so much more about action, and that's only a small portion of what the game is about," explains Neil, describing his appreciation for the sport.

"There's a lot of standing about, there's a lot of thinking about the weather, there's a lot of going to the bar when it's raining.

"Even in the game itself there's so many subtleties and strange turns of phrase, which is just richer than most other sports."

That's why he and Thomas Walsh, of Irish power pop band Pugwash, first hit upon the idea for making a concept album about the sport.

From that idea came 2009's self-titled debut record, a well-received collection that happened to coincide with that year's Ashes series.

While the band name may be lifted from the often unfathomable process used to determine a result in the sport, the group's own tunes are melodic, occasionally rocking and laced with wit. It's that sense of humour that Neil believes is important to the whole project.

"I guess why Thomas and I write together is that we share the same sense of humour, and that translates to our songs," he says. "It's a chicken and egg thing, perhaps we are drawn to writing about cricket because of our sense of humour, rather than cricket providing the humour. It's important, but it's woven into the music, it's revelling in the surrealism of the subject matter."

Their decision to work together again saw the duo rattle through several songs quickly.

"It was great fun to write, we started with just one day a week, hoping one of us had something to start with and then the days become more frequent until we actually went into the studio," recalls the singer.

"It's an odd one, we got about seven or eight songs written and then we thought where are the last few going to come from? So we pillaged some demos of mine from yesteryear, and Thomas has lots of little ideas on his mobile phone, acoustic guitars and stuff, so we did a lot of rummaging around for the jumping off point for those last few tracks."

One benefit for the cricket-mad duo is that the project has let them meet some of their sporting heroes, as well as others they'd admired. For instance, the song Judd's Paradox features an appearance by Stephen Fry, reading a poem of Neil's.

"It was like Celebrity Squares on the album this time," he jokes. "When we were doing Judd's Paradox, we had a set of lyrics going back about 10 years, that just happened to be about cricket. I was just reciting them, as we hadn't a tune for them yet, and Thomas said 'let's get someone cool to do it, as it might sound better'.

"We kind of fantasised it'd be Stephen Fry, but thought it'd be impossible.

"He had said nice things about the first record though, so we got Phill Jupitus to ask him, as he might have had more luck.

"To our surprise, he said yes, so we then had a nervous wait for him to do the voiceover. I don't know why I was nervous, it's just he's like a beacon of culture over the last 20 years."

The QI host wasn't the only guest roped in though, with cricket announcers David 'Bumble' Lloyd and Henry 'Blowers' Blofeld popping up on the record too.

Those guest appearances not only snagged Neil and Thomas an appearance on the famed Test Match Special radio programme, but also ensured a surreal conversation took place.

"We only met David Lloyd earlier this summer, as he'd sent his part over by email," says Neil.

"When we met him we talked a lot about Half Man Half Biscuit, as he's a massive fan."

Of course, cricket is far more popular in England than it is in Scotland, but Neil is sure Oran Mor will provide a warm atmosphere.

"I've always had great gigs in Scotland, the Scots tend to share my sense of humour," he says. "Whether you lot will share my interest in cricket I don't know -it's similar to Ireland in many ways, where there are plenty of cricket fans but they don't talk about it that much. It's more likely to be a music orientated crowd than a cricket one."

After the tour it's back to the day job, though.

"There's always a Divine Comedy album forming in my head," he says.

"There's always these things in my imagination going around about what it might be like, so to say it's not formed yet is an understatement. But come October I'll be back on it."

n Duckworth Lewis Method, Oran Mor, Tuesday September 24, £22.50, 7pm