Rather more low key Kings Of Leon weren't there in person but accepted the award for best album with a short video clip filmed in their hotel room.
The Killers' Brandon Flowers [sporting a Neon Tiger emblazoned blazer] and Ronnie Vannucci kept chat to a minimum as they picked up best international band.
Key NME Award winners
Best British band: Oasis
Best international band: The Killers
Best new band: MGMT
Best live band: Muse
Best solo artist: Pete Doherty
Outstanding contribution: Elbow
Best album: Kings Of Leon
Godlike genius: The Cure
Favourite for the best solo artist award Jay-Z was pipped by Peter Doherty who dedicated his win to his Nan, while Mercury winners Elbow were crowned with the outstanding contribution to British music.
London newcomers The Big Pink won the Philip Hall Radar award and Michael Eavis struggled though a throng of well-wishers to pick up the gong for best live event for Glastonbury.
Director Richard Ayoade joined pals Arctic Monkeys to pick up the award for best DVD.
Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh later ran across the stage to receive best TV show.
The night saw a string of live performances including Elbow, who thundered through Grounds For Divorce aided by a string section.
Franz Ferdinand unveiled a surprise collaboration with La Roux covering Blondie's Call Me.
Similarly, Glasvegas coupled up with Florence Welch of Florence And The Machine to play Elvis' Suspicious Minds before Welch piggy-backed lead singer James Allen and left the stage.
Friendly Fires brought their, now infamous, troupe of South American dancers onstage as they played Jump In The Pool.
Drawing the curtain on the ceremony itself was NME's annual salute to Godlike Genius.
Hollywood director Tim Burton and magazine editor Conor McNicholas presented The Cure with the award before the band played a swift 10-song set.
The Cure's Robert Smith on the "dirtier" NME awards
Amongst others, Muse were seen singing along as Grace Jones received special dispensation from security to jump up and down on her chair.
With the awards coming to an end the bands and artists emptied out to various after parties.
Florence And The Machine, MGMT and Klaxons were seen barging their way into a nearby pub.
Meanwhile, Glasvegas took Dirty Pretty Things to their after hours show in Notting Hill.
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