The Katene Sisters “Keeping Up the Love Thing”

The Katene Sisters were a Shortland Street plot. It was revealed that nurse Jackie Manu (Nancy Brunning) had previously been part of an girl group called the Katene Sisters, rounded out by a couple of her cousins (who I assume were the Katene sisters). The trio reunited for a talent contest at Kennedy’s bar, ready to reprise their hit song “Keeping Up the Love Thing”.

One of the cousins was played by Annie Crummer, the other by an actress whose name is forgotten to the mists of time. But this sister wasn’t important, as the plot required her to get ill and drop out of the talent contest, with nurse Carrie Burton (Lisa Crittenden) stepping in as a last-minute Katene.

The result was a single that hit number three in the New Zealand charts and included this video which was uploaded to YouTube around the time of Shorty’s 20th anniversary celebrations in May 2012.

The video is simple but fun. Shot in black and white, it’s based around the trio singing the song in a recording studio. Pop star Annie dominates the song, overshadowing the two actors’ more restrained vocals, but the video gives plenty of time to the two soap stars.

We also get glimpses of the studio control room and I think that’s ex-Holidaymaker and Annie Crummer’s collaborator Barbara Griffin with a head full of luxuriant dreads, keeping an eye on things.

And that’s basically it. Occasionally there’ll be a dramatic close up of lips or an eye, but it’s mostly just the girls messing around, having fun.

The song wasn’t quite good enough for the fictional trio to win the talent contest. That went to Chris and Carmen’s disco number – Carmen was, after all, the Levin disco champion. And there have been other Shortland Street pop spin-offs – Dr Sarah’s sultry cover of the Buzzcocks “Ever Fallen In Love” made it to number 24 in the charts, but nothing has quite had the joy and energy of the Katene Sisters.

Best bit: Annie’s dramatic braid flick.

Director: Tristan Strange
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… giant flowers.

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