NME honours 'Libertines' but Doherty misses out on reunion

It is not Pete Doherty's month. After facing charges of robbery and blackmail, and a stint in a prison cell, he won nothing at the NME Awards last night while his former band, The Libertines, were acclaimed best British band. Not that he actually turned up.

The hotly anticipated showdown in the best live band category between Doherty's new group Babyshambles and his former colleagues the Libertines ended with both being beaten to the award by Muse after their blistering performance at the V festival.

Babyshambles also lost out in the best new band category in which Razorlight, whose founder Johnny Borrell was a friend of all the original Libertines, proved triumphant. Doherty, who is in rehab for his drug addiction, failed to turn up to the event after his mother called organisers telling them he was unwell hours before the start.

But Carl Barat, who co-founded The Libertines with Doherty, offered an olive branch to his former bandmate who was ejected last June. Accepting the best British band award after what he described as a "difficult" year, he said: "This is for all the boys in the band. My heart goes out to Pete this evening. This is as much for him as for anyone."

The Godlike Genius Award, previously won by the likes of U2 and Ozzy Osbourne, went to New Order, the band formed by the three remaining members of Joy Division after Ian Curtis's suicide in 1980. They performed live to celebrate.

U2, despite their previous genius award, failed to win either of the awards for which they were nominated ­ best track and best international band, with the latter honour going to The Killers.

Almost inevitably, after success in the Mercury Prize and the Brits, Franz Ferdinand were again the big winners, becoming the first band to win all of the three main British music awards in a single year.

The Glaswegian rockers, last year's best new band, won the best album against rivals including The Libertines and Scissor Sisters. They also won best track with the barnstorming "Take Me Out", again from a shortlist including The Libertines.

The NME music awards are the largest to be voted for entirely by music lovers. More than 50,000 votes were cast this year. The winners were supported by guests including Sir Paul McCartney and the actresses Samantha Morton and Juliette Lewis at last night's ceremony.

Graham Coxon, the former Blur guitarist, fought off competition from Eminem, Morrissey, Ian Brown and The Streets to be named best solo artist.

Kaiser Chiefs, who were the opening band in the NME Awards Tour, a showcase for emerging talent, took the Philip Hall Radar award for band to watch, while The Others took the award for musical innovation, dedicated to John Peel.

His widow picked up an award on his behalf. A tearful Sheila Peel was comforted by the couple's son William as she collected the special award for life-long service to music.

THE WINNERS

BEST RADIO SHOW Zane Lowe

BEST SOLO ARTIST Graham Coxon

BEST LIVE BAND Muse

BEST TRACK "Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand

BEST VIDEO "American Idiot" - Green Day

BEST NEW BAND Razorlight

SPECIAL AWARD FOR LIFELONG SERVICE TO MUSIC John Peel

JOHN PEEL AWARD FOR MUSICAL INNOVATION The Others

BEST FILM Shaun of the Dead

BEST MUSIC DVD Definitely Maybe - Oasis

BEST INTERNATIONAL BAND The Killers

BEST TV SHOW Little Britain

PHILIP HALL RADAR AWARD Kaiser Chiefs

BEST ALBUM Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

BEST EVENT Glastonbury

BEST BRITISH BAND The Libertines

GODLIKE GENIUS AWARD New Order

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