Britain's Paul Weller, shown performing in 2006, was awarded honorary title Godlike Genius. ((Reuters))

Muse was named best British band and Kasabian earned best album honours for West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum at the NME awards in London Wednesday night.

While female artists dominated the Brit Awards last week, the NMEs, a fan-voted award created by the British music magazine, highlighted the popularity of male bands.

Muse, an alt-rock group from Devon, won a second award for best website.

Singer Matt Bellamy said the wins were "a great surprise" especially as the band beat veterans such as Oasis, favourites Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian, who won this year's best band Brit Award last week.

Arctic Monkeys, former winners of the Mercury Prize, were named best live band.

Kasabian, a group of indie rockers fronted by Tom Meighan, also won two NMEs — the second for best album art on the West Rider album, named after a real Yorkshire lunatic asylum of the 1880s.

Ska legends The Specials were presented with an honorary award, for outstanding contribution to music and Paul Weller of Jam and Style Council was awarded the Godlike Genius title.

"He wrote some of the most beautiful and poetic songs about being young and British," Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie said of Weller as he presented the honorary award.

Both Weller and The Specials performed as part of the ceremonies, which were hosted by singer Jarvis Cocker.

Paramore, a band from Tennessee fronted by Hayley Williams, was named best international band by NME winners. After releasing the album Brand New Eyes last year, the group sold out their European tour including seven dates in the U.K.

London alt-rockers Blur won best live event for their reunion show in Hyde Park and Scottish rock group Biffy Clyro won best video for The Captain.

Lily Allen became the inaugural winner of the Giving it Back award after staging treasure hunts for lucky fans to find free tickets to her world tour.

Former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan appeared at the NME gala to introduce the video of I Put A Spell On You, a charity single for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. 

The single features Johnny Depp playing guitar, while Nick Cave, Chrissie Hynde and Paloma Faith participated in the recording.