Muse and Kasabian were the kings of the Shockwaves NME Awards, but Oasis failed to pick up a single gong despite receiving three nominations.
Riding high after their Brits success last week, Kasabian scooped best album and best album artwork for West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.
Muse also picked up two awards, beating Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Biffy Clyro and Kasabian to be named best British band as well as receiving the best website prize.
Arctic Monkeys, who had the most nominations with six, were named best live band following their sell-out tour last year.
Last night's ceremony saw a performance from Kasabian as Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding hurled pretend severed heads out of a bin bag into the audience.
Courtney Love and her re-formed band Hole played new single Samantha and a cover of Sympathy for the Devil, while Lily Allen and The Big Pink sang a mash-up of Dominos and You're So Vain.
Despite Oasis imploding when Noel Gallagher walked out last summer, the band were in the running for a hat-trick of awards, also including best video and best live event, but they were left empty-handed.
Oasis were beaten by their former Britpop rivals Blur in the live event category, with Blur taking home the award for their much-lauded reunion show at Hyde Park last summer.
Blur bandmates Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon and Dave Rowntree took to the stage to accept the gong.
Rowntree explained that fourth bandmate Alex James, who has turned cheesemaker, was out "milking wildebeest".
Rowntree, who recently ventured into politics, added: "Thank you, especially from me, as it's the only thing I'm likely to win this year."
La Roux bagged her first NME award - best dancefloor filler - for In For The Kill.
The award was presented by New Order singer Bernard Sumner, who joked: "Michael Jackson is out of the picture."
Allen became the inaugural winner of the giving it back fans award after staging treasure hunts for lucky fans to find free tickets to her world tour.
American rockers Paramore were named best international band at the glitzy event at the O2 Academy in Brixton, south London, hosted by singer Jarvis Cocker.
The set for the event resembled a stately home, with Cocker playing a guess the band game with the audience in the style of TV show Catchphrase and joking at one point about a picture of Simon Cowell being "the devil himself".
The Specials collected the outstanding contribution award before performing Too Much Too Young and Gangsters.
The award was introduced by Albarn, who said: "I love this band, they were an incredibly important part of my life when I was growing up.
"I have to go back to... the era of Top of the Pops.
"Top of the Pops was really important to me for so many reasons, but when I first saw this band... this particular song, it genuinely changed my life."
He told how he had the chance to be in the audience for Top if the Pops.
"I remember really vividly standing underneath this person and he had these amazing moccasins on and I was mesmerised by them.
"As soon as I got back to Colchester I had to get a pair, not as good as his obviously."
Modfather Paul Weller closed the show after receiving the godlike genius award, presented to him by Bobby Gillespie and Mick Jones.
Weller, who received a standing ovation, said: "What can I say - it's taken them 30 years to realise it."
He performed songs from across his musical career, was joined on stage by former Oasis guitarist Gem Archer.
Bombay Bicycle Club were named best new band and Glastonbury received the best festival gong.
Outlandish singer Lady Gaga, another Brits winner, received more awards - winning both the best dressed and the worst dressed prizes.
Rage Against The Machine, who kept X-Factor winner Joe McElderry off the Christmas number one spot, were hailed heroes of the year, while Kanye West was named villain of the year.
The Jonas brothers received a double whammy by being named worst band and having the worst album, according to voters.
NME editor Krissi Murison said 3.6 million votes were cast this year "proving that music fans are as passionate as ever".
She described Muse and Kasabian as "rock royalty".