In the early sixties, before Screaming Lord Sutch became a politician and leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony party, he was a fairly successful UK rock horror performer. He was famous for his weird antics on stage, which at one time involved him leaping out of a coffin at the beginning of his act. A North East musician who played in Sutch’s band, the Savages, for a short time was guitarist Malcolm Douglas Langstaff, otherwise known as Kylastron Mac. He had earned his nick name from years of playing lead guitar with the popular Newcastle instrumental group, the Kylastrons, both in England and Germany.

Opening of the el Cubana from the Sunderland Echo dated 28th November 1962

I first met Mac at the beginning of 1965 after I placed a card in a Sunderland music shop, advertising my services as a tenor sax player. A week later I got a call from him, inviting me for an audition with his band – a reformed Kylastrons. The Kylastrons had been around for a long time in one form or another. The band in 1965 was led by Mac, who was an exceptional guitarist with a flamboyant personality. A few years later he would play and record with Keith Emerson in the Nice, appearing on the Nice’s ‘Ars Longa Vita Brevis’ album. The rest of the band consisted of Bernie Watson from Sunderland on keyboard and Bill Baker from Burnopfield on drums. The new Kylastrons did not have a bass player, relying on Bernie to supply bass lines on his keyboard. The other three band members were a lot older than me and they all had years of gigging experience behind them. I went for a couple of rehearsals with the band and, in spite of my age and inexperience they seemed happy to take me on. Their repertoire consisted mainly of instrumental numbers, a lot of which had been penned by Kylastron Mac.

The Kylastrons personnel in 1965 – Malcolm Langstaff (guitar), Bernie Watson (organ), Bill Baker (drums) & Roger Smith (tenor sax)

My first gig with the Kylastrons was at the Blue Note club in Sunderland on Friday 5th February 1965. We supported a Liverpool band called the Black Knights who had appeared in the film ‘Ferry Across the Mersey’ along with many of the Liverpool bands that had found fame in the wake of the Beatles. The following night we played at a dance in Ashington, Northumberland until 11.00 pm followed by a session at the el Cubana club in Sunderland from 1.00 am to 3.00 am. On the Sunday night we played at the Rainbow Club in Seaton. Four venues in three days – my gigging career had started with a bang!

In the few months that followed I learned a lot about gigging and life on the road. The band were getting bookings through Ray Grehan, owner of the Blue Note club in Sunderland. Ray Greahan was also involved in a Yorkshire based entertainments agency. So as well as playing local gigs, the Kylastrons also played outside of the north east in such places as Kendal, Worksop, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and Hull. We stayed at various hotels, bed & breakfast establishments and transport lodges. On one occasion our van broke down on the A1 near Sinderby in Yorkshire and we had to spend the night shivering in a farmer’s hay barn.

2 kylastron1

The Kylastrons business card

On 3rd February I paid my first visit to a recording studio; Mortonsound in Newcastle. We recorded seven instrumental numbers for a demo disc, which Mac intended sending to major recording companies in London. The numbers we recorded were Kylastronic versions of classical pieces – ‘The Sabre Dance’ and ‘Hall of the Mountain King’; two Duane Eddy numbers – ‘Ramrod’ and ‘Ring of Fire’ plus ‘Besame Mucho’, ‘Exodus’ and a Mac composition called ‘The Trial and Tribulations of Life’.

I played with the Kylastrons until 20th March 1965 when they replaced me with a bass player. I was grateful for my apprenticeship with the band, having crammed a lot of experiences into a seven week period.

The Kylastrons eventually broke up at the beginning of May 1965.

Worksop Palais de Danse poster 6th March 1965
Worksop Palais de Danse poster 6th March 1965

Kylastron gigs


Fri 05/02/1965 Blue Note, Sunderland Black Knights
Sat 06/02/1965 Ashington Welfare Lectrones)
Sun 07/02/1965 El Cubana / Rainbow Club, Seaton
Thu 11/02/1965 The Scene, Middlesbrough
Sat 13/02/1965 El Cubana, Sunderland
Thu 18/02/1965 The Scene, Middlesbrough
Sun 21/02/1965 Doncaster Blue Jays
Thu 25/02/1965 County Hotel, South Shields
Fri 26/02/1965 Blue Note, Sunderland
Sat 27/02/1965 Murton Democratic Club
Wed 03/03/1965 Morton Sound (recording)
Fri 05/03/1965 Kendal Town Hall
Sat 06/03/1965 Palais, Worksop Mal Parker
Sun 07/03/1965 Rotherham Baths Futures
Mon 08/03/1965 Arbourthorne Hotel, Sheffield
Tue 09/03/1965 Wombwell
Wed 10/03/1965 Hull University Spencer Davis
Sat 13/03/1965 Blue Note, Sunderland Invaders
Fri 19/03/1965 Blue Note, Sunderland Invaders
Sat 20/03/1965 Blue Note, Sunderland Junco Partners

27 thoughts on “Kylastrons

  1. 0

    He was my cousin David’s father, though they were not in touch. Lovely to read that He was a TALENTED man who made his mark. Rest in Peace.


  2. 0

    I knew Malcolm, and his brother Ian in the late 60’s / early 70’s – I bought his old gourd guitar from a Westgate Hill junk shop, and he tracked it down to my place.
    Ian, if you still check this site out, greetings from George Wake (now Dr Wake, contact me should you want at ;, hope all is well, greetings from deep time, George


  3. 0

    I grew up in Jesmond and Malcolm was my neighbour. I have some really amazing memories of him and his stories of the 60’s. After we moved from Jesmond he came and found me (somehow) and gave me one last bit of sage advice which I cherish to this day.
    Next time I’m home I would really love to visit wherever he is buried to pay my respects, can you tell me where I can find him Please?

    RIP to a legend of Rock n



  4. 0

    hi m8 I am Ian Mac’s bro. He is in Westgate Hill Cemetery but i have not paid for a stone as I had to pay for the funeral 5,000. Go in as far as you can to the roundabout there is a brown hut on the left and a walk way down. The first cross roads you come to his mam and dad are on the second row on the left when you keep walking straight ahead you will come to a second cross roads he is along on the left about 10 along in the gap if you follow up the line of coffins you get to his mam and dad on the second row and his grand parents on the top row. Then his mam did not get over Mac dying and she died 6 months later and another 5,000 I had to spend. So as for head stone of Malcolms grave I can not afford it m8. If his fan club wants to erect some thing go ahead and do it but please add his name and KYLASTRON. His son is in Spain and his daughter is in America. Cheers


  5. 0

    I’m sorry to hear that no headstone was affordable. Mac’s other son, David, is still in Sunderland. If you Ian, or Seth and Lara would ever like to contact me they can at David is my cousin.


  6. 0

    Hi lan I don’t know if you remember me, I sang with Malcolm in all three of his early bands my name is Dean Sherwood, I only found out that Malcolm had died a couple of years ago, I was completely devestated when I heard, I live in Spain so if you can give his son my email address I would love to meet him and talk to him about his dad.


  7. 0

    Hello all,
    My name is Lara. I am Malcolm Langstaff’s daughter. I have been trying to find my brother David (I thought his name was Aaron?) for many years. I am so grateful to find this webpage!
    Yasmin I have just sent you an email and am hoping we can connect. Please check your inbox for an email from me. I know that sometimes emails to hotmail addresses can end up in spam/junk folders. I hope I can find my long lost brother.
    George and Jim, I have emailed you also. Please check your inboxes and look for an email from me.
    Manuela, I would love to connect with you and hear your stories!! Please email me at the following address:
    Ian, I have tried calling you so many times over the years but have never been able to get through. Please email me so that we can reconnect. I am in the US now but would love to chat on the phone. Here is my email again:
    My brother Seth died tragically in a car crash in England in 2017. Ian, I know that Katherine let you know about this. I miss Seth so much and Malcolm and Peggy too. I hope that we can reconnect and talk again soon.
    And I hope I can connect with my long lost brother David! I am so excited to think that this might finally be possible.
    Best wishes to you all, Lara


  8. 0

    Roger, thank you so much for sharing this page and making it possible for me to connect with people who knew my dad. I have sent you an email too and hope we can connect too!


  9. 1

    Hi Lara
    I have replied to your email! I’m thrilled this post reached your attention and look forward to swapping our stories. In the meantime, I’m so very sorry about Seth, that’s tragic news. Thank you for making contact. Much love to you xx


  10. 0

    Hi Yasmin, thank you. I received your email and have responded. Hope we can speak soon. Bear in mind I am 8 hours behind you. Much love also… cousin! xx


  11. 0

    as far as i know seth has a half sister same mam differant dads


  12. 0

    Hi Ian hope you remember me from wingrove avenue


  13. 0

    hi mal
    how is barry good heavans i am 72 now this month was 15 to 21 i lived in wingrove avenue – malcom died a few years back then my mam went 6 months later she could not get over malcolm dying but thats part of life we all got to sometime i am still in benwell but been around a bit

    any nice to hear from you m8 stay safe in these virus days its like playing roulette you dont know who has what
    cheers m8 ian

    ps i have heard that seth died in a car crash but his daughter is in the states now but we dont speak – well i dont speak to her


  14. 0

    My name is David.
    Way back in 66/67 Kylastron and I played in a band with Vince Taylor.
    Vince was going through an “interesting” period taking us along on a weird and wonderful journey from London to Paris. Kylastron {I only knew him as Kylastron} and I very much enjoyed the ride.
    We were good friends for a while.
    So much time has passed since. He is an important part of my history and will always remind me of being young with nothing to lose.
    Pink Cadillacs & High Heel Sneakers…With thanks.


  15. 0

    hi dave are you the dave i knew – this is ian mac’s bro
    the 4 i khew was malcolm – dave – keith and ricky

    malcolm aka mac my bro


  16. 0

    Hi Ian, George Wake again, ages since I looked at this site.
    If you’re still around, would love to hear from you, mail me at; email, ring me on; 0191-2734791, let me cook you a curry kidda, regards, George


  17. 0

    Hello all
    I am Keith
    part of the original Kylastrons with Malcolm; Dave and Ricky
    Dean Sherwood joined us for vocals as we were mainly an instrumental group.
    I was so sad to learn of Malcom’s passing.
    We met such a long time ago when he was working in a music store in Newcastle.
    He was very creative and an inspiration for any guitar player

    Hope to hear from anyone in the connection.


  18. 0

    I’d love to know if there were any recordings of the Kylastrons? Also, where did the name come from? Did it have a meaning?
    Malcom was the nicest guy, and I even tell my kids stories about him “the wizard Kylastron”.


  19. 0

    hi Keith – nice to hear you’re still in the land of the living – its Ian here Malcolm’s brother, 73 now, wow and still plodding on. Had a very strange life with Malcolm over the years. He had a heart attack and left his left side not working so he ended up in a wheel chair; he ended up with a fall out of bed and hurt his foot. I took him to the hospital but he would not stay as he hated standing around waiting for people. What happened was his foot had got a blocked vein and he would not go get it sorted. Eventually his foot stated turning a funny colour and he would still not go and they said get it sorted or you end up loosing your foot. But no amount of talking to him would he go get it fixed until he collapsed and he needed his foot removing. But no go – he eventully died with his foot still attached to him and the rest of him died with the foot still on.


  20. 0

    Hello. My name is David. I played in a band with Malcolm backing Vince Taylor in ’67ish. (I only knew him by the name Kylastron). It was a strange and crazy journey with Vince which I think left it’s mark on both of us. I hope he’s made it to his own Hall of the Mountain Kings. I’m glad he was part of my life and will always be in my memory of being young with magic just a whisper away.


  21. 0

    Hi all my name is Dean Sherwood I played with Malcolm in the early days before Kylastrons, when we won top of the groups. I’ve recently been in touch with Keith Checkley. It was great to remember the band.


  22. 0

    great pity mac is not here to say hello and have a meet up for old times i am macs bro ian known as tichey when the group was in the front room at kelso gardens mac would go out and i would creep in and play cards with them and go get tabs out my mams cig box and leave money for then once she came in from work and all she had was a cig box full of money was a great laugh any way cheers – dean nice to here you still above the daiseys


  23. 0

    Hi Ian, and Mal hicks – I wish you’d get in touch – Mal, I didn’t really know you, but I did know your bro Barry. Recently, loads of people from my past have been re-contacting – you 2 do so svp.


  24. 0

    I was a good friend of Malcolm in Jesmond. I was there until 1992. It was after all the activities with bands, but he was full of stories that seemed incredible, about Screaming Lord Sutch, The Nice, Hendrix, he occasionally played a little guitar. I was the first person he came to when he was extremely excited to have discovered and met his daughter earlier that day, he showed me a photo, she looked so like him, and also liked Hendrix’ music. I think people didn’t believe the stories, but it’s clear from this blog, if that’s what you call it, they were true. No one has mentioned that he stumbled upon Salvador Dali while accidentally trespassing in France! I’m sorry but I wasn’t in the NE in the 60s or quite old enough (born 61) to recall vintage memories, but Malcolm will always stand out in my life as a fascinating and dynamic personality who led an enviable and rewarding life and legacy.


  25. 0

    Hi Ian Langstaff, Mal Hicks, it’s me again, George Wake. I just received a notification from one Steve Howells – name seems familiar, but can’t put a face to it.
    Anyway, Ian, Mal (or you brother Barry), if you’re still alive and kicking, giz a mail at, would love to hear from you all, regards anyway, George Wake (now Dr Wake, if you can believe that!)


  26. 0

    My wife’s step-father was Bernie (Bernard) Watson the Kylastrons keyboard player who was born in Sunderland in 1943. He was an outstanding keyboardist and part of the English Northeast music scene from about the mid 1960s until about the mid 1970s.

    Bernie died this past Sunday, April 14, 2024 in New Hampshire in the US. He moved to the US ~2008 and then married my wife’s Mom the recently widowed Louise Watson nee Clendenin.

    Bernie told some stories of his time as a musician, including having his own band and meeting many of the greats at the time, but not nearly enough. After he died I did some web searching and learned about his short stint with the Kylastrons.

    Bernie was very much a part of our family and will be missed.


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