Literally ten minutes after I'd entered the gloriously vintage world that is Pie & Vinyl, a young woman walks in bearing a significantly older lady on her arm. 'Do you have a toilet she can use?' the younger one asks. 'Erm, we do…' Steve Courtnell, one of the co-owners of the store replies. But before he can finish, the blanks to this story are already being filled in. 'It's just I've found her out on the street, she doesn't know where she is and she can't find her way home.' Believe it or not, stranger things have happened in Portsmouth.

It's a quirky and certainly kooky place to live in, this town. If you spend some time around the small seaside resort of Southsea, you'll find that amongst the rows of vintage clothes shops and independent bars that line the island's streets, you meet enough characters to fully flesh-out an off-kilter alternative soap opera for multiple series. And that's exactly why Pie & Vinyl – Southsea's first pie café and record store – could only be in Portsmouth. It's the perfect combination of style and quirkiness that this part of town thrives on, and besides – they're the only ‘new' record store in fifty miles. It's about damn time!

Lining the walls are rows of limited edition gig posters, each print available for purchase in or out of frame; rows of the latest releases in their vinyl and CD form add a huge modern vibe to the undeniably retro aesthetic and the pies – oh, the pies – not only is there a huge selection ranging from your classic steak & Guinness to the aptly named Pietanic (all of which may I add, are sourced locally to the area) but the choice of cordials and tea all served in traditional teapots and saucers really adds that extra splash of character to an already colourful place.

Sitting down with some fresh Portsmouth tea and pie, I began chatting with Steve while Rob Litchfield, Steve's business partner, worked behind the counter. I wanted to really know what they thought about the re-emergence of vinyl, the new kind of audience it's attracting and what vinyl means to them. 'The thing with vinyl is it's never going to be cheap,' says Steve. 'But you know, MP3s are the reason it's come back so strongly – there's a generation of kids out there who have never experienced releases on vinyl.'

'We've never had any choice [Rob and I], growing up with cassettes and vinyl. It disappeared then but now it's come back. But this time, it's not just the power of the sound of vinyl – it's the power of the artist, being able to control the way you listen to that record - for example, M83's double album working with two different perspectives. It gets you more involved.'

'You can listen to the first half, be about to turn it over, and someone walks in with a lost old lady and you lose your place! You'll never hear that last track on side B unless you listen again.'

The combination of Pie & Vinyl, to me, seemed like quite a strange combination. But talking to the guys, I think they've actually cracked the secret to why vinyl is becoming so popular again today. 'I think people get comfort out of looking back. I grew up in the 80s, and then, the future was exciting – the future was something good,' said Steve. 'Nowawadays, the future is something scary. I think people like to look back and take comfort in the things that defined the 40s and 50s, from clothes to music.'

'I think pie and vinyl compliment each other really well,' Rob interjects. 'It gives that whole sort of cosiness and homeliness that comes with listening to a record, like I did with my grandparents – whilst eating pie and mash.'

And, well, I have to agree. When Rob brings over my steak & Guinness pie complete with mash and peas, the sound of 6 Music in the background and the whole atmosphere the store evokes is enough to make you believe that it's actually been around for years; almost like your second home, or returning to a place you haven't visited since you were a kid.

But the burning question on my mind is what the guys have in store for Record Store Day. This coming Saturday (21st April), record stores all over the country will be celebrating vinyl with special limited releases, and Pie & Vinyl are well on board. Hosting a selection of local talent throughout the day. The B of the Bang, Andrew Foster, Retrospective Soundtrack Players and The Day of The Rabblement make up the store's Record Store Day line-up, and the most exciting part is that they don't even know what releases they'll be getting in stock! 'The Stool Pigeon said that we are one of the very first record shops to open since the last Record Store Day,' Rob notes, who's now pulled up a seat with me and Steve. 'We're very excited and scared by that. We're the only place doing Record Store Day within fifty miles so it should be great for us too.' Steve also promised (read: jokingly promised) to do a streak through the store, so it'd be worth going down even just for the prospect of that occurring!

Rob and Steve are both Record Store Day virgins, occasionally grabbing a few releases but never really being that involved. 'There are a few things I'd love to not see this shop to see go straight to my house,' Rob says. 'The Ryan Adams 7's… I can't wait to see those and hold those. Covers of Bob Mould from Husker Du. That'll be quite nice to have a look at for the few minutes that it's in.'

When asked if they were expecting big queues, the guys didn't know. 'We were told there'd be queues from 5am, but we have to be a bit responsible about it.' Steve jokes. 'There are people who are very emotional about these things and could end up fighting over them… I'm just going to laugh and enjoy it!'

Steve also paid due to the warm reception independent record stores – Rough Trade and Spencer Hickman especially – have given them in their idea and it's progress. 'Spencer was in Australia at the time we contacted him, and despite being there and being busy he was really into the idea and really up for helping us. He's a great and really helpful guy.'

Hickman – who runs the UK side of all things Record Store Day – recently noted on Twitter his frustrations with distributors for Record Store Day releases. I asked the guys how they were finding the whole process, what with being such a new start-up. 'Because we're brand new, we're not sure were we fit into their schedule,' Rob says. 'We were very conscious of opening for this – it's a massive opportunity for us,' adds Steve.

And indeed it is. The store will be open from 9am on Saturday, where you'll be able to line up to grab a record from the roulette of releases the guys will be stocking from a lucky dip in the Record Store Day goody bag. Be sure to get yourself a pie, too – and revel in the cosiness and nostalgia of it all. Pie & Vinyl is located on Castle Road, Southsea, and is open from 10am – 7pm daily. More details can be found on the store's Facebook page here.

For more information on Record Store Day head to