Artful Dodger Apparel + Artful Dodger Jeans = Ruck!Artful Dodger Fall 06, story straight from the Bulldog’s gob!

19th century England. Two gangs roam the London Metropolis, the “Cutter lads” and the “Swell Mob”. They are the 2 most reputed gangs that ever existed in old England and tonight is the night they are getting ready for the biggest dust up of all.

Blood will be spilled tonight and where better for this to take place than the freak shows of the Carnival, in amongst the Ghost trains and Dodgy Side Shows.

The scene is set for a showdown at the Carnival!  The Carnival of Death!

It hasn’t been always so nasty between the Swell Mob and the Cutter lads.  Walker, a youth of the “Cutter Lads”, described how boys gambled with the Swell-Mob and how he learnt from them an association of which they were ‘rather proud’.

It only takes one beating though, to turn the tides.

You’ve seen the movie “City of God” and “Gangs of new York”. These are nothing compared with what happened in London on this fateful night of January 18th 1816.

The unruly haired Swell-Mob epitomize the rewards of a life of crime: their ‘flash-dress’ with blue frock coat and trousers tight to the knees, velvet collar waistcoat, low riding fancy worked shoes and the hat, generally  tilted on one side as they go about with a cigar in their mouth.

The Artful Dodger is the leader of the Cutter lads. You’ve never met a more menacing lad than him. Never without his fighting irons, he is nastier than Bill the Butcher! In and out of the shadows, he led the way for his gang of street urchins against the Swell Mob…a rag tag bunch of thieves and crooks!  Older than the Cutter lads, the Swell mob once boasted a gang membership of over a 1000 youths. Now most of them surf the murky back streets of London with the Dodger and the rest of the Cutter Lads crew.

Peep Shows, Freak Shows, Dancing bears…the Carnival is underway and I bet even the Clairvoyant has no Idea what is about to happen. It’s all fun at the fair. Candy floss is been eaten and lights are on…all the kids are having a great time…Colors are vivid from the excitement and the air is fresh in eager anticipation of fun for all the family. Then from nowhere in the shadows, here they come:  the Carnival of fun will quite quickly turn into the Carnival of Death.  Daggers and slashes, Cutters and fighters! No one is safe, everyone gets hurt. Hands slashed off, legs ripped away…oh, it’s a bloody scene! Mayhem erupts at the Carnival… People run for their lives. In and out of the freak shows, Merry-go-rounds are used as battlegrounds. The Hoochie Coochie Dancing girls are putting on their best show to keep the punters from running to the hills. Who wouldn’t want to stay and watch these lovely ladies? It’s gruesome: pitched battles all over the place, Axes, Pitchforks anything these lads could get their hands on were used as weapons. It’s Bedlam!  Then …calm. The Blood has been spilt, Claret and Crimson all over the place. Death and damage is the only thing that’s seen.  Skulls are cracked and blood red adorns everything. All that’s left are the weapons and the dead! The vultures are circling and there ready for Dinner. It’s a stark contrast from what started as a fun night out has turned into the battle of the century. I wouldn’t go back there for your holidays any time soon!!!