Pretenders no more

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THE Foo Fighters have sneakily become one of the world’s biggest rock bands — and yet they almost threw it all away.

In 2008, the band took a long break and then released a “greatest hits” and the band’s future was in question.

Now in 2011, their new album “Wasting Light” comes out this week, almost four years since “Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace” hit the stores.

Bon Jovi, U2 and the Rolling Stones continue to sell out stadia but none of those bands could attest to being in their prime — Foo Fighters would argue that they are.

This summer, Foo Fighters will be undertaking a stadium tour of their own and tonight, a documentary about their career, “Back and Forth” premieres — joining bands such as Motorhead, Metallica and The Doors in making the leap from stage to screen.

Despite the awards and multi-platinum selling albums, Nirvana remains the elephant in the room for rock’s biggest band.

Almost 17 years of constant success and the name “Dave Grohl” still conjures up as many references to being the Nirvana drummer as it does the Foo Fighters front man.

Nirvana, from the release of Smells Like Teen Spirit in 1991 to the band’s demise with Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, changed music forever.

The Foo Fighters have in contrast become music’s Mr Reliable, like a modern day Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, releasing an almost constant stream of hits, since their eponymous album was released just months after Cobain’s death.

And it could have been so different — in the time between the end of Nirvana and the start of Foo Fighters, Mr Grohl played shows with Tom Petty and was offered the chance to drum for the Heartbreakers.

Either way, the “nicest man in rock” seemed destined to become the dependable spine of the genre.

All the members have dabbled in side projects – most famously Grohl’s collaboration with Josh Homme and John Paul Jones in rock super-group Them Crooked Vultures.

Now they are back together, stepping up to their rightful place as one of the world’s biggest rock bands, and it all started from a demo-cassette Grohl passed around his friends in 1994.

You can see their journey tonight at 8pm for one night only at Cineworld on Glasgow’s Renfrew Street. To book and for more info visit www.cineworld.co.uk.