February is such a short month I can hardly believe that it’s time for our Lates with MasterCard again. But here we are and it’s looking like a really fun line-up. This month we have our first late night opening of Extinction: Not the End of the World? our latest special exhibition taking a look at the role of extinction in the evolution of life.
I had the chance to look around it just before it opened and can honestly say I was blown away. There are some fantastic specimens and fascinating interactives, including videos on conservation work, voting booths where you can have your say on big questions relating to extinction and an extinction computer game (that I probably spent far too long playing!).
Special exhibitions usually sell out at Lates but if you book early and bag yourself a ticket I’d recommend you spend a bit of time reading messages on the ‘wishing tree’, a place designed for visitors to write down their thoughts about life on Earth and leave them for others to see.
Of course this month also is the time of year that we bid a fond farewell to Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Lates. This Friday is your last chance to see the amazing photos from this year’s competition after hours so if you haven’t seen it yet and would like to, this could be your chance. It’s hard to choose a favourite image amongst such an impressive and diverse selection of photos but I think the one that stands out for me is the commended ‘Relaxation’ by Jasper Doest (below).
But Lates isn’t all about the exhibitions. This month our Crazy Artistes are back to put your speed-sketching skills to the test with real Museum specimens. Find them in the galleries and see if you can draw a dinosaur skull or a badger in just ten minutes. They’ve been squirrelling away prizes from all over the Museum so who knows, you might even win something.
We’ve also got a truly fascinating discussion event taking place in the Museum’s Restaurant. Addressing huge questions about extinction, this month’s we'll be considering whether or not we could, or indeed should, bring extinct species back from the dead.
Bringing Back the Dead has three brilliant expert speakers and you’ll be able to have your say and ask questions directly to the experts. Charlotte in our Nature Live team has been busy preparing the content and you can read more about it on the Nature Live blog here.
Once again, our increasingly popular open mic night will be returning in Central Hall. I’m getting more and more emails from musicians wanting to play and now spend most of my lunchtimes watching spectacularly talented people performing on YouTube. We’ve narrowed it down to our favourite eleven for this month and some of their videos are below. Make sure you check them out below.
So, if you’re free on Friday (and even if you aren’t) you should definitely pop along and visit us at Lates. We’d be delighted to see you there!
Miranda Quammie is a singer, songwriter, piano player and native of Stoke Newington who combines elements of folk, classical and pop to captivating effect on her debut album, Tempest.
Acoustic London-based duo, August and After, weave abundant vocal harmonies onto a bed of intricate guitar arrangements and story-telling lyricism.
Ki Yoshi is a soulful singer-songwriter from Camden.
Australian born singer/songwriter/guitarist/ukulele enthusiast Angela Ashby brings joyful acoustic melodies with occasional rocking rhythms to your ears.
Hailing from the south coast, Tom Bradley blends his laid back beach sounds with his soulful vocals, drawing comparisons to the likes of Jack Johnson and Paolo Nutini. His songs range from reggae tinged summer anthems, to harmony-laden Fleetwood Mac throwbacks.
Winnet’s background as ballet dancer and actress gives her a unique charismatic quality as a performer on stage, which compels her audiences and embellishes both the style and subject of each song. This coupled with her own individual vocal timbre marks her as a tremendous new comer to the business. An utter delight to watch.
Bluesy, big-voiced singer-songwriter Hayley Tucker writes songs with a story. Accompanying herself on her acoustic guitar, expect some folky soul with sass.
Ben Lim writes and sings songs, only to slow his inevitable transformation into a robot, by way of his day job.
Also playing is:
- Sophie Kilburn, a singer-songwriter originally from the Derbyshire Dales who describes her own unique style as a blend of Adele, Eva Cassidy and Lily Allen.
- Autumn Fox, an acoustic songwriter from Memphis Tennessee promising to bring a flavour of the south into folk / pop music
- Singer-songwriter R P Williams.