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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 12:04 GMT
The Rev's Marley collaboration a 'dream come true'
by Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Reverend and the Makers singer Jon McClure has been telling Newsbeat about travelling to Jamaica to record with Damian Marley, son of the legendary Bob Marley.

The Reverend
John McClure at Midem Festival

The pair have collaborated on a new version of the track, The State of Things, from the Reverend's debut album.

Jon admitted he's always wanted to travel to the West Indies.

He said: "The place where I come from in Sheffield is a big Jamaican area and it was like a dream come true for me.

"You know, in Britain, we call them tunes but in Jamaica it's all about the 'riddims', so it was a mind blowing experience.

"I think a lot of the innovation in music in the last 20 years has come from hip-hop, reggae, dancehall and electronic music so to be in Jamaica was fascinating."

Musical inspiration

Jon says he was inspired to record with Damian because of his love for his late father's music.

He said: "The whole Marley family is amazing. Damian Marley is carrying on his dad's tradition.

"What he's doing is a fresh thing and lyrically they're very conscious as well. I got to meet Rita Marley (Bob's widow) as well, which was an honour."

The trip inspired Jon to get involved in raising money for The Trenchtown Reading Centre, and educationl community centre based in the famous ghetto in West Kingston.

Gun threat

Jamaica isn't without danger though and Jon and his girlfriend, Laura - the band's keyboard player, had a spectacularly close call.

Jon said: "I had a bit of a dodgy experience when me and my girlfriend were in our hotel room and there was a knock at the door and when I answered it, a guy was there with a gun.

"He was trying to push his way in and I was fighting to keep him out. It turned out he thought it was his room and his girlfriend was in there with another guy.

"He was trying to shoot me. So, slightly hairy."

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