Southsea music shop scoops top award

WINNERS Pie and Viny co-owners Steve Courtnell, left, and Rob Litchfield.   Picture: Allan Hutchings (121364-149)
WINNERS Pie and Viny co-owners Steve Courtnell, left, and Rob Litchfield. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121364-149)
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A RECORD store has overcome fierce nationwide competition to become the best independent record shop.

Pie & Vinyl, in Castle Road, Southsea, won the award after being shortlisted by its customers and receiving the most votes on social networking site Facebook.

The store was entered for the nominations about a month ago, and remained in the competition last week after the entrants were narrowed down to a final five.

‘Our customers really came through for us,’ said Rob Litchfield, co-owner of the Pie & Vinyl.

‘The store is just over a year old so it’s a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.’

They came out on top against four other independent music stores including The Music Exchange in Nottingham, Vinyl Tap in Huddersfield, Soundclash in Norwich and Love Music in Glasgow.

The award is run by Audio-Technica, in celebration of Record Store Day on Saturday.

The day itself came about seven years ago when US independent record stores came together to celebrate their culture.

The UK joined in soon after, with this year being the sixth of the annual celebration.

‘Record Store Day is like Christmas Day for us. Artists release music on Record Store Day that is only available in independent shops - which makes it very exclusive,’ Rob said.

‘It really helps out the little guys.’

The store will receive a £1,000 prize to put towards planning a big celebration, where they officially launch their own record label Pie & Vinyl Records, to which they have already signed local band, The B of the Bang.

English rock group Band of Skulls will also be performing at the shop.

‘It helps us to say thank you to those that have supported us,’ Rob said.

The store came to be on April 6, 2012, and provides an unique twist over other independent record stores.

A self titled ‘Record Cafe’, the store serves a wide range of pies to its customers who are able to browse through vinyls and posters, as well as having magazines and papers available to read.

‘Steve, my business partner, came up with the idea originally,’ Rob added.

‘We always wanted to own our own record store, but we knew it just wasn’t going to be possible with the way similar stores were going.

The shop has grown organically to become what it is today.’