The “divine” in The Divine Comedy was not the reason Irish chamber-pop leprechaun Neil Hannon was playing in a church.

The Dean and Chapter had agreed to allow Tribeca Arts impresario Ben Pugh to run a series of rock/world concerts in the Minster, and if Hannon let slip a couple of X-rated words – one to describe Minster arsonist Jonathan Martin, the other in a lyric – the wrath from above did not befall him. He looked up heavenwards only when sipping red wine from a glass, mouthing “sorry” playfully.

Tribeca’s first concert of its new venture drew an audience of 500, a goodly number, drawn predominantly from Hannon’s fan club for his first mainland British show of 2011. Looking no older than in his Nineties’ hit days in his suit and tie, he adapted a classical pose at the Steinway. What a grand sight, bathed in blue light, but although his song-writing has turned more serious from his early days of foppish frippery and Noel Coward cleverness, humour was never far from his lips.

In a 22-song set on piano and occasional acoustic guitar, numbers old and jaunty (National Express, Generation Sex, Songs Of Love) and more often newer and sometimes topical (The Complete Banker, Bang Goes The Knighthood) were interspersed with snippets from the pocket guide to the Minster. His musicianship was better than ever, his writing less mannered, more direct. If echoes down the Nave pointed to initial sound difficulties, these were soon ironed out for a wonderful night of whimsy, wit, wordplay and wisdom. No wonder Hannon called the experience awesome.